Infinity-Winter
December 2016
From Mary's Desk

It's the most wonderful time of the year -- a time when many of us reflect on what's important. As I contemplate the role Montana Community Foundation (MCF) plays in creating a culture of generosity so that Montana communities can flourish, our philosophy and values guide us.

You'll find MCF's values demonstrated in the work we do, the goals we set and the progress we make. We live these, every single day. The MCF board of directors discussed, labored over and adopted these values in 2014 to define that which we hold dear.
  
MCF's Values:

Giving 
We believe every Montanan can and should be a philanthropist.
 
Trust
We earn the trust of those we serve by operating and communicating with accountability and transparency, honoring our commitments with respect and courtesy in all that we do.
 
Community
We are dedicated to supporting Montana's many communities as they strive to create economic vitality and improved quality of life.
 
Partnership
We seek solutions to Montana's opportunities and challenges by partnering with donors, foundations, professional advisors, businesses, governments, local communities and nonprofits.
 
Stewardship
We safeguard donor intent in perpetuity, subscribing to the highest levels of stewardship for the assets, reputation and relationships entrusted to us. 
 
Innovation
We seek out best practices and innovative ideas for providing the highest quality service and achieving community good.
 
Nimbleness
We are responsive, flexible and open to creative approaches. We are proactive in finding solutions and overcoming barriers to achieving our goals.
 
While these values inform the work we do, they also inform the people we hire to do that work. The team we put together is dedicated to doing a great job and performing at the highest levels, but they're also dedicated to Montana and the people who call it home. They're also dedicated to each other. 
 
As you may have seen in every one of our job announcements as we recruit new team members, we state that MCF places equal emphasis on an employee's skills and an employee's attitude, recognizing the combination of exceptional skills and a positive, respectful attitude make MCF a special environment for its employees and constituents. We don't just hire people who are good at their job skills; we hire people who are also good to each other and truly care about working together to make a positive impact on Montana.
 
As a partner of MCF, thank you for joining us in that pursuit as well. The happiest of holidays to you and your families. 

Sincerely,
Mary K. Rutherford, MA, CFRE
President & CEO 
Time is running short!

The end of the year is fast approaching. It's time to make sure those year-end gifts are completed to take advantage of significant tax savings and most importantly, make a positive difference in the state we all love.

Remember, donations must be postmarked by December 31st, 2016 in order to be included as a charitable deduction this year. Also remember transfers of stock and other non-cash gifts can take a week or more to process. Please initiate stock transfers with your broker no later than Wednesday, December 21. 

We can provide all the necessary paperwork to make things easy for you. If you have questions or need assistance with your charitable giving, please let us know - we're here to help.
5 Ways to Help Before December 31st

Make a Difference With These Smart Donation Options

The end of the year will be here before we know it. You want to help your favorite charity and choose the method of giving that makes the most sense for you financially. There are many gift options available. Here are five popular ways to help before the year comes to a close:

1. Give cash. Cash is an easy way to give each year. To document a cash gift of any amount, you must have a dated receipt from MCF. Make certain you receive one. A canceled check provides sufficient documentation only for gifts by check if they are less than $250.

2. Give appreciated stock or other property. When you give property, we'll sell it and you will eliminate all the capital gains tax you would have paid had you sold it. Your gift will be deductible at its full fair market value on its date of delivery if you have held it for more than one year.

3. Invest in a life income plan. A life income gift provides you with payments for the rest of your life and your favorite charity with support thereafter. If you use appreciated securities that you've owned longer than a year to fund the gift, you will be entitled to an income tax deduction based, in part, on the charitable portion of the securities' full value, in addition to eliminating up-front capital gains tax.

4. Give real estate, artwork or other tangible personal property. Give property that would have resulted in the greatest capital gain if you would have sold the asset instead.

5. Donate an insurance policy. A gift of a life insurance policy you no longer need makes a perfect year-end gift. To qualify as a deductible gift, MCF must become the policy owner. For most types of insurance policies, your tax deduction is usually the cost basis or the fair market value of the policy-whichever is less.

There are many ways to give that not only benefit your favorite charity, but also benefit YOU financially. Start exploring some of the creative ways we can help you help Montana.
Need cash for school?

That's right, it's nearly scholarship season again! We awarded scholarships to more than 160 deserving students last year representing over $400,000, all thanks to the generous donors who have established scholarship funds at MCF. And, we're getting ready to do it again!
 
Qualifications vary widely resulting in scholarship eligibility for a diverse range of students. For most scholarships, students can apply online beginning January 1, 2017. The closing date for most scholarship applications is March 17, 2017. Scholarship awards generally range between $500 and $5,000, some of which are renewable for multiple years. For questions or more detailed information about our scholarship program, contact Database & Scholarship Manager Jenny Lou Stark at (406) 443-8313 or jstark@mtcf.org.

Learn more about establishing a scholarship fund in support of our students and Montana's future.
Generosity at Work

We're well into the giving season and November was another wonderful month of generosity. MCF made 32 grants representing more than $63,000. We wanted to share some photos of this generosity at work in Libby. One recent grant went to the Libby Saddle Club, which helped them purchase new horse stocks which were installed at J Neils Park. 

Another grant went to Libby Community Interagencies, Inc. dba Lincoln County Crisis Solutions. This grant was used to repair a roof on a shed and the siding on another used by victims of domestic violence to store their belongings. 

Thank you to these organizations for sharing their stories and for the good work they're doing in their communities!

Are you interested in putting your generosity to work? Learn more about giving through the Montana Community Foundation.
10 Questions for the Staff - Kacie Tollefson

Who are the people that spend their days working for Montana's future? Let's find out!

1. Where are you from originally?
Malta, MT

2. What's your position at MCF and what do you do?
I am the Senior Accountant and help   manage the assets of the foundation and maintain its proper financial tracking and reporting within accounting, IRS and legal requirements. 

3. What's your favorite hobby/what do you do with your free time?
I love doing anything with family and friends, whether it's a sporting event or any type of indoor/outdoor recreation. I am also a bookworm - love reading. 

4. If you had to choose a different profession, what would it be and why?
I would have been either a chiropractor or possibly a pharmacist. Both professions just seemed interesting to me.  

5. What's something not very many people know about you?
My high school burned down my senior year.

6. What are three things you can't live without?
Family, friends and chocolate.

7. How did you first get involved in the nonprofit sector?
My first job at Gary McGee & Company specialized in nonprofit audits, so I learned a lot about the nonprofit sector from the beginning of my accounting career.

8. If there was one thing you wanted people to know about MCF, what would it be?
I've only been here a short while, but I have loved every minute. Everyone is incredibly nice and I see how much the Foundation supports the various towns/organizations throughout the state.

9. What's your favorite place in Montana?
Malta and Helena - my two "hometowns."

10. What's your favorite thing about Montana/Montanans?
After living out of state for 15 years, "There's no place like home." No matter where you are in Montana, you always know someone. 
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