August 2017
From Mary's Desk

As of this edition of Infinity, we'll have been distributing the electronic version for three years. In that time, we have had wonderful responses to the stories and content we've shared. And while we know you enjoy Infinity, we're always searching for ways to improve here at MCF and our newsletter is no exception.

With that in mind, I invite you to take a very brief, six-question survey to help us develop more content that is relevant and interesting to you, our constituents. Thank you for being a partner of MCF and thank you for reading Infinity and providing your feedback! 

Mary K. Rutherford, MA, CFRE
President & CEO 
From One Good Heart to Another

Louise and Hawk
It's the time of year students are heading back to school. Parents are shepherding little ones to kindergarten for the first time and veteran moms and dads are packing up graduates who are heading off to college. Some of those college-bound Montanans are the deserving recipients of more than $400,000 in scholarships awarded by MCF this year. Of that $400,000, $34,000 came from the Louise A. Dean Scholarship Fund.
Louise Dean came to Montana from the Midwest with her mother and father. In 1928, the family moved to Miles City, where Louise spent time learning to ride horses from the cowboys of the big ranches in the area as well as the Northern Cheyenne kids. A few years later, the family moved again to Helena, where she met her husband, Samuel G. Dean, who became an Army Air Corps bomber pilot. Sam was killed during World War II.

In 1945, Louise purchased a small ranch in Lincoln and continued to fall in love with ranching and horses. Louise taught many in Lincoln how to ride.

In speaking about her, folks usually mentioned how good Louise was with animals. For a time she raised Rottweilers to show, and one person said, "She could make those dogs do anything!" She fed her cows from a dogsled and at the end of her life, she trained her last dog Hawk, as her seeing-eye dog. When you left after a visit, she and Hawk always stood in the drive and waved farewell.

Louise passed away in 2009 after managing her Blackfoot Valley ranch for more than 60 years. She left a bequest in her will to establish the Louise A. Dean Scholarship Fund to benefit Lincoln and Northern Cheyenne students. Louise wanted to support the students of Lincoln, where she spent most of her life, and the Northern Cheyenne, where she spent her childhood and learned to love horses and ranching.

"To put it real simple, this place has been so good to me, it has given me so much," Louise wrote. "I have had a lifetime of mornings when I step out that front door and look out over the land and say to myself, 'Son-of-a-gun, I can't believe I live here.'"

Fast forward eight years to 2017 and a young woman named Adrianna Pittman. Adrianna's hometown is Glen, a small unincorporated community in Beaverhead County between Butte and Dillon. Adrianna graduated this year from Beaverhead County High School and is headed to the University of Montana Western to pursue a degree in Secondary Education Math and Science. After earning her degree, she plans on teaching in rural Alaska for a while before returning to Montana to teach high school math or science.

Adrianna is a recipient of the Louise A. Dean Scholarship in the amount of $3,000 and the scholarship is renewable each year, meaning it will support her through her entire undergraduate studies. When we asked Adrianna if this scholarship would make a substantial financial impact, she said, "Absolutely, without it, it would have been difficult for me to attend college. I am truly honored and humbled to be the recipient of such a generous award. Thank you for your investment in my future." We also asked her about Montana: "I am very proud to be a Montana resident my whole life. Montana has given me many opportunities to get involved in activities and to let me grow into the young lady I am today. I couldn't think of a better place to live."

What we didn't know, what Adrianna didn't know, and what the wonderful group of ladies from the Montana Retired Educators Association who awarded her the scholarship didn't know, is that Adrianna and Louise have a special connection.

Louise holding Adrianna in 1999.
Adrianna's grandmother was a very good friend of Louise Dean for more than 20 years. In fact, when Louise decided to sell her ranch in Lincoln, she said to Adrianna's grandmother, "I can't think of a better way to give back than to help kids go to college." It wasn't until Adrianna was telling her grandmother about her scholarship that she realized it was the same Louise her grandmother knew. Adrianna's grandmother started crying and said, "I never thought my granddaughter would be a recipient of Louise's good heart in this way."

Thank you to Adrianna for sharing her story with us and thank you Louise for your incredible generosity. You just never know how important your legacy might be to future generations of Montanans. You just never know what your good heart might do to help another good heart, even after you're gone. 

Learn more about leaving your legacy for Montana.
Montana Healthcare Foundation Grants

Don't miss out on the Montana Healthcare Foundation's final round of Rapid Response Grants! This opportunity  offers grants between $10,000 - $75,000 for 1-2 year projects. The program is intended to support proposals focused on planning, training, and smaller scale projects. 

Learn more here.
Social Justice and Blaine County Grant Cycles Close Sept. 7

We are accepting applications for grants to benefit projects promoting social justice in Montana and Blaine County. Grant applications will be accepted through Sept. 8, 2017.

Social Justice
Grants will be made from the Social Justice Montana Fund, established at MCF in 1997 with a challenge grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation that was matched by donations from Montanans across the state.
Applicants must be either a 501(c)(3) nonprofit or an exempt governmental unit. Grants will range in size from $1,000 to $5,000. Only one application is allowed per organization.
Successful grantees will have the following characteristics:
  • Promote social justice in Montana.
  • Work to understand and address the root causes of the issues, not just the symptoms.
  • Sees itself as part of a larger movement for social change, and works towards strengthening that movement.
  • Preference will be given to projects that engage Montana's youth in the work of social justice.
Eligible projects must provide a direct benefit to Montana residents, be sustainable, and address important, unmet needs. Ineligible projects include partisan or sectarian activities.

Blaine County
Grants will be made from the Blaine County Community Foundation Fund, established at MCF by Warren Ross in 1997. Financial support for this grant program also comes from the Ross 87 Ranch Endowment Fund, established by Warren Ross as well.
Applicants must be either a 501(c)(3) nonprofit or an exempt governmental unit. Grants will range in size from $1,000 to $3,000. While grants must be used for projects benefiting communities or residents in Blaine County, the grantee organization does not need to be based in Blaine County. Only one application is allowed per organization.
Eligible projects must provide a direct benefit to local residents, be sustainable, and address important, unmet needs. Ineligible projects include conferences, workshops, planning, research, untested projects, and partisan or sectarian activities.

Grant requests for both funds are reviewed by the MCF Grants & Scholarships Committee. The grant process is competitive; incomplete applications will not be considered. Grant applications will be accepted through Sept. 8, 2017.
To apply for either grant, access the online application at Only online applications will be accepted. For questions, please contact MCF Director of Operations & Grants Jessica Stewart-Kuntz at (406) 441-4950 or
Register Today for the 8th Annual Community Foundation Convening!

Join us for the 8th Annual Community Foundation Convening!

This year's convening will be held Tuesday, September 26th at the University of Montana
in Missoula.

This convening promises to accelerate your learning and engage your community foundation in community leadership.
  • How do we identify ways to serve our community?
  • How do we zero-in on our community's crucial priorities?
  • How can our community foundation respond to local challenges using community philanthropy?
  • How do we challenge underlying assumptions about how community foundations approach our work?

Go Further Together: Register Now for the Montana Nonprofit Association's 16th Annual Conference

Montana Nonprofit Association's 16th Annual Conference, Go Further Together, celebrates the transformation that takes place when we join forces for impact, and asks us to reflect on our individual power and responsibility to foster relationships and communities that move the common good forward.
The MNA Conference brings more than 400 people together for the premier nonprofit convening in the region. This high-energy event is designed for networking, learning, and renewal. Attendees will experience national and local speakers, focused training, peer exchange, a nonprofit trade show, full-day preconference workshops, and tangible tools you can put into action at your organization immediately. Attend and boost your knowledge, expand your connections, deepen your sense of purpose, and be sustained in your work. Learn more and register.     
Generosity at Work

Thank you to the donors who made 13 grants totaling more than $30,000 possible in July. Thank you also to the worthy nonprofit organizations across Montana who benefited from these funds.

If you want to put your generosity to work, visit the Giving section of our website to learn more.
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