December 2017
From Mary's Desk

I've been thinking about boards. Not the kind you use to build things, the kind you study for, or the kind you dive from, but nonprofit boards. Why? Last month at the MCF annual meeting, new board members were elected. This time of year has me thinking about the energy and excitement volunteer board members can bring to an organization.

What does a board of directors actually do though? It seems like a simple question, but the answer is something people often aren't quite sure about. It's also easy to confuse what nonprofit board members do with what for-profit board members do.

First and foremost, the Board is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organization. When nonprofit organizations have staff, the Board selects, advises, evaluates and if needed, replaces the executive director/president/CEO. Boards are responsible for ensuring the resources needed to fulfill the organization's objectives are available. They monitor the performance of management, and ensure the organization operates responsibly and ethically. Finally, they establish and carry out a (hopefully) effective system of governance at the board level.

The key difference between nonprofit and for-profit boards is fairly straightforward. For-profit boards concentrate on increasing shareholder value; nonprofit boards focus on how the organization adds value to society through fulfilling the organization's mission. Unlike for-profit board members, nonprofit board members are often responsible for fundraising and for helping recruit volunteers.

Serving as a board member for a nonprofit can be a lot of work, but it can also be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. If you feel passionately about an organization or particular cause, we hope you'll consider pursuing a position on a nonprofit board that supports that passion. Your service can make a powerful and positive impact.

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

It's time to make sure those year-end gifts are completed so you can take advantage of significant tax savings and most importantly, help ensure Montana remains the place we all love to call home.

Donations must be postmarked by December 31st 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.  

We can provide all the necessary paperwork to make things easy for you. If you have questions or need assistance with your year-end charitable giving, please  let us know - we're here to help.
Montana Wildfire Relief Fund - Grant Cycle Update

The Montana Wildfire Relief Fund (MWRF), a partnership between MCF and the Montana Television Network, has now grown to nearly $580,000 through the extraordinary generosity of individuals, businesses, private foundations, and many others across the country.
Both grant cycles are now closed. Funds for the first grant cycle will be distributed before the end of the year. The grantmaking committee is currently reviewing applications for the second grant cycle and funds will be distributed early next year.
Taking the Next Steps Toward Wildfire Recovery

On December 1st, MCF in partnership with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and its Midwest Early Recovery Fund, convened community members, first responders, nonprofit partners, and federal, state, and local representatives to better understand the impact of the 2017 Montana wildfire season. The workshop served as a place to address unmet  needs and establish the next steps for cohesive statewide disaster recovery. 

The workshop helped identify unmet needs, additional organizations and individuals to include in future discussions and planning, challenges and opportunities, and next steps toward not only recovering from the 2017 wildfire season, but also mitigating impacts of future fires.
Need money for college? We have it.

January 1, MCF will begin the process of awarding hundreds of thousands of dollars to worthy students seeking to further their education. 

For the 2017-18 academic year, MCF awarded more than $450,000 to 146 students. 

Each year, MCF awards scholarships ranging from $500 to $5,000 to deserving students across Montana.  Scholarships are made possible by generous scholarship funds established by individual donors and organizations committed to giving back to their community.
While qualifications for each scholarship vary, each student is required to go through a competitive application process to be considered. Some scholarships are renewable, meaning students can apply to receive funding for multiple years.

To apply online beginning January 1, 2018, visit more information or questions, contact Scholarship Manager Jenny Lou Stark.
Register Today: Fundraising in these Weird Times

The Missoula Community Foundation is excited to present a full-day workshop by nationally renowned fundraising expert Kim Klein.

Regardless of where you or your nonprofit sits on the political spectrum, there is no doubt your ability to raise the money you need has changed in some way. Further,  it is a sure bet your nonprofit organization will need more money going forward (when has that not been true?) and that competition for charitable dollars will increase. Creating or expanding a robust fundraising program is imperative in these unreliable times. The good news is that raising more money is possible.  In this workshop you will learn:
  • Why focusing on individuals builds power as well as income
  • How to build a team of people willing to ask
  • Why sorting your donors into segments will lead to more loyalty and more income
  • How to get donors to find donors
This workshop will be most helpful to organizations with an established donor base of at least 100 donors, and most helpful to organizations sending more than one person to the training.

When: Wednesday, January 3, 2018, 9am-4pm

Where: The Roxy Theater, 718 S. Higgins Ave., Missoula, MT

Cost: Early Bird Rate (before Dec. 15) $75 for the first person from the organization; $50 for the second. After Dec. 15, $100 for the first person, $75 for the second.

Lunch and snacks provided.

About Kim Klein
Kim Klein is an internationally known trainer, speaker and author, well known for her ability to deliver information in a practical, down-to-earth and humorous way.  She has a wide range of nonprofit experience, having worked as staff and as a volunteer and a board member.

Kim is the author of five books, including  Reliable Fundraising in Unreliable Times, which won the McAdam Book Award.  Her classic text,  Fundraising for Social Change, now in its seventh edition, is widely used in the field and in university degree programs.
Generosity at Work

Giving season is in full-swing and there's no exception here at MCF. In October, 52 grants were made representing more than $200,000! We are so grateful for the donors, nonprofits and many other generous, hardworking constituents who make this giving possible and help ensure Montana's future.

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