April 2017
From Mary's Desk

Spring is in the air and all around us Montana's weather transitions to sunny days which are interrupted with an occasional intermittent spring snow shower. Clear blue skies, songbirds singing and emerging spring flowers inspire me to think about what's possible with the newly arriving season. And spring is a time of joyous celebration as the fruits of Montana Community Foundation's (MCF) labor are evident through our annual endowment payout distribution. At MCF, we're all about planning for the future by creating something today that will be here long after each of us are gone.

Many of us will participate in MT Gives, Yellowstone Valley Gives, Flathead Gives, Give Big Gallatin Valley, Greater Helena Gives and Missoula Gives, the single day when communities host annual online fundraising efforts. These days make a big splash and bring helpful financial resources to nonprofits who are making a remarkable difference across our state.

At MCF, we're focused on helping people create their legacies through permanent endowments that will provide support to the organizations they care about when they are no longer here to write the annual check or participate in special events or giving days. For those who give each year to these nonprofits, the question that must be asked is: Will these worthy organizations continue to need support even after I'm gone? The answer is yes, they absolutely will.

The annual giving we do as donors is critical to these nonprofits, but long-term giving even after we've passed is as critical or even more so. This is the "business" MCF is in. Our goal isn't simply to make sure nonprofit organizations are able to carry out their mission this year, but instead that they're able to carry it out this year and for generations to come. We accomplish this through permanently endowed charitable funds, which are created and prudently managed to grow steadily and provide funding forever through an annual distribution.

What does that forever funding look like? This year we distributed more than $2.7 million to over 530 organizations as part of our annual endowment payout distribution. This is only possible because of the many amazing philanthropists who had the foresight and willingness to make this possible for the benefit of Montana.

We as individuals try to prioritize our own futures by saving for retirement. We save to buy homes and send our children to college. Montana's future is no different. As individuals, we have the opportunity to ensure our great state remains a place for our children and grandchildren to love and thrive in. Permanent endowed funds provide a way of leaving our legacy in Montana forever. What's your Montana legacy? Partnering with MCF will ensure your legacy is preserved for the Montana you care about.
Mary K. Rutherford, MA, CFRE
President & CEO 
Support the Local Charities that Support  Your Community!

MT Gives is a powerful and growing 24-hour, online and in-person giving event. It's organized by community foundations and nonprofits across the Big Sky to grow philanthropy in Montana by connecting donors to the nonprofits that help make our state the Last Best Place.

This year, MT Gives begins at 6 p.m. on May 4th and ends at 6 p.m. on May 5th. Giving events are happening across the state in many communities, giving you the opportunity to give locally and support the organizations that mean the most to you and your town. 

We hope you'll take part in this year's MT Gives by giving to charity and sharing the news and opportunity with others. For more information about MT Gives, visit  
Scholarship Season Comes to a Close

Scholarship season is coming to a close and we're happy to announce we had tons of deserving applicants apply. 

And while the students are heroes for their achievements, there are some other heroes we like to make sure are recognized for their incredibly hard work.

While most of the scholarships MCF distributes have dedicated committees to review applications and make award decisions, there are also many MCF is responsible for reviewing. It's a time consuming and difficult process, and we're very lucky to have the help of this wonderful group from the Montana Retired Educators Association who volunteer each year. Our sincere thanks to these lovely ladies!
Montana Community Foundation 2016 Annual Report

Our 2016 Annual Report is finished and should have reached your mailbox by now. If you didn't receive one and would like to, please contact us and we'd be happy to send one. You can also read the online version. We hope you enjoy reading about the impact we made in 2016 and the great progress we continue to make in ensuring Montana's future!
Women's Foundation of Montana Grant Cycle Closing Soon

There's still time - but not much - to submit your Letter of Intent Application for a Women's Foundation of Montana (WFM) grant. 

For more than 15 years, WFM has been improving the ability of women to lead economically independent lives and creating brighter futures for girls.

Organizations are invited to submit a Letter of Intent Application for their 2017 grant cycle. Those projects that best meet the mission and goals of the WFM will be asked to submit a full proposal.

WFM is most interested in projects that directly improve the ability of women and girls to become more economically successful. There are three focus areas for their grantmaking:

Ensure All Women Have the Tools, Skills and Opportunity to Reach Their Full Economic Potential

 - Career and entrepreneurship programs
 - STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) programs
 - Financial literacy programs
 - Training and resources to increase women's employability and earnings

Create Systemic Change to Improve the Economic Status of Women

 - Advocate for public policies that improve the economic status of women
 - Conduct research in support of policy change that improves the economic status of women

Advance Women's Leadership and Power

 - Increase political participation of women
 - Increase women's leadership skills

Grant sizes range from $1,000 to $10,000. Grant recipients must be a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. WFM supports current programs, pilot projects, improved organizational efficiency, and advocacy campaigns. 

WFM values innovation, collaboration, and tangible, measurable results that are statewide or regional in nature.

They do not fund the following types of requests:

 - Educational scholarships or business loans for individuals

 - Capital campaigns for building projects

 - Endowment campaigns


Submit your project proposal here: Letter of Intent Application.  

Letters of Intent are due by April 30, 2017.  WFM does not accept applications by regular mail and will not consider late proposals.

Following a thorough review, those proposals that best fit WFM goals will be selected to submit full proposals. For more information on how to apply for funding contact Jen Euell at 406-461-7695 or
Generosity at Work

MCF made more than 30 grants totaling over $92,000 in March! We're grateful to the amazing donors who made these gifts possible and the worthy nonprofit organizations who are putting that generosity to work in communities across the Big Sky.

If you want to put your generosity to work, visit the Giving section of our website. 
10 Questions for the Board - Jo Ann Eder

Just who are these wonderful folks that give so much back to Montana through their work with MCF and beyond? Let's find out!

1. Where are you from originally?
New York

2. What's your "real" job outside the foundation?
Two other foundations.

3. What's your favorite hobby/what do you do with your free time?
What free time? Hiking, skiing, floating rivers, traveling, and visiting with friends.

4. If you had to choose a different profession, what would it be and why?

A geologist or a marine biologist. All science is fascinating. I've been an astronomer so I'd like to dive into some other sciences.


5. What's something not very many people know about you?
I helped map the universe. 

6. What are three things you can't live without?
My dogs, my family and friends, and my mission.

7. How did you first get involved in the nonprofit sector?
In college, I worked as a tutor/mentor then when I graduated I joined VISTA.

8. If there was one thing you wanted people to know about MCF, what would it be?
The Montana Community Foundation represents the dreams and aspirations of Montana's citizens way into the future.

9. What's your favorite place in Montana?
Red Lodge and Wounded Man Lake.

10. What's your favorite thing about Montana/Montanans?
The can-do people and the breathtaking beauty.
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