February 2020
Letter From Mary
Dear Friends,
I am feeling an extra sense of appreciation for Montana this month. Maybe it is a lingering effect of Valentine's Day or the hope of spring arriving soon.
It may also be because MCF is in the final stages of distributing over $3.3 million to more than 600 nonprofit organizations through our annual endowment distribution process. This annual event makes me keenly aware of the number of hardworking Montanans and organizations that are working toward the betterment of our communities.
Endowments also show a commitment from our donors to ensure a strong future for Montana organizations that benefit FOREVER from their generosity.
We are honored to be a partner in strengthening Montana through endowed philanthropy. Together we are creating a sustainable future for generations to come.   
Mary K. Rutherford 
President & CEO 
Census 2020: February Update

Be counted! Every Montanan matters. Be sure to check out Montana's second Census 2020 public service announcement that is now airing on broadcast television and radio stations statewide. These videos are available for individual download and distribution at CENSUS.MT.GOV and on Facebook . Individuals, businesses, and organizations are encouraged to download the videos and share them on their websites, social media platforms, newsletters, or other digital communication channels.
Fund Highlight: Western Bank of Wolf Point Endowment
The Western Bank of Wolf Point Endowment was established as a Donor Advised Fund, at MCF in 1998, to benefit the community of Wolf Point. In the last 10 years alone, the fund has granted approximately $132,000 to support community causes like the purchase of a mammography machine, renovation and construction of community spaces, a "Special Cowboy Moments" video program, and staff support for an after-school program.
Western Bank of Wolf Point merged with Opportunity Bank in January 2020, but the bank remains committed to upholding the good work of the fund. The Western Bank of Wolf Point Endowment is currently being converted to a community fund that will continue to provide grants in the areas of economic development, medical needs, historic preservation, and community beautification in the northeast corner of the state.
Today Opportunity Bank of Wolf Point is housed in a modern and spacious building on 3rd Ave South in Wolf Point. The bank, however, has humble beginnings. It was opened in 1913 as the First Bank of Wolf Point in a small frame building, with living quarters in the rear, to meet the needs of a thriving community. Fast forward 107 years, that same bank has undergone several leadership changes, a couple of moves, a name change (Western Bank of Wolf Point), the addition of an independent brokerage, a renovation, and now the recent merger with Opportunity Bank. Through it all, the bank has remained committed to serving Northeast Montana.
Duane Kurokawa, Branch President of Opportunity Bank of Wolf Point, joined the MCF Board of Directors in January 2020. Welcome, Duane!
Partner Highlight: Mark Meissner, Sales Associate, ERA Landmark Real Estate
Philanthropy can take many forms, including real estate. Donations of real estate are an easy way for donors to repurpose property they're no longer using and benefit from charitable deductions while helping their community. Partners like Mark Meissner, Sales Associate at ERA Landmark Real Estate, make it a smooth transaction.
In 2019, one of Mark’s clients donated a rental property they owned to Montana Community Foundation. Mark was a great resource to MCF in selling that property. Even before the property was listed, Mark helped with a comparative market report, getting the appraisal done, and having a home inspection complete, all to ensure that the property would be the right gift for MCF to accept, all in service to Montana. The property sold at the end of 2019, thanks to Mark, and the proceeds will be used to support Montana communities. Mark says he and his team at ERA Landmark are continuously striving to serve as a good resource for their clients and the community and opportunities like this allow them to do just that.
Based in Bozeman, Mark Meissner has worked in the real estate business since 2003, first in real estate development then obtaining his real estate license in 2010. He has experience working with builders on new construction projects and helping individuals buy and sell residential properties. Connect with Mark .
Local Community Foundation Feature
The Community Foundation of Northern Rosebud County (CFNRC) awarded a grant to the Forsyth Woman’s Club to support a commemorative sign in Pioneer Park, highlighting the life and ambitions of Thomas Alexander- a rancher, prospector, and one of the most influential founders of Forsyth. A dedication ceremony was held in December and included a presentation of the 2 nd Annual Spirit of Community Award, “given to people who have served and given back to the community.” The 2019 recipients were Albert and Rita Martens. The award is accompanied by $1,000 from CFNRC, an amount the Martens will use to put toward a community project of their choosing.
The Creative Arts Council in Eureka was able to construct a Little Free Library at their Center, thanks to a $300 grant from the Tobacco Valley Community Foundation. The beautifully constructed Little Free Library, done by locals Gary and Moshe Henderson, was built with the intent to encourage Creative Arts Council members to read.
Upcoming Scholarship Deadline
This year, MCF will award approximately $450,000 for scholarships to well-deserving students. Don’t miss out! The deadline to apply for MCF scholarships is March 20 . We have scholarships for students seeking all levels of advanced education from trade school to baccalaureate degrees and beyond. Learn more about our scholarships and their eligibility requirements at www.mtcf.org/applications
Upcoming Grant Deadlines
The Darby Town Community Endowment Fund competitive grant cycle closes March 13 so be sure to apply soon.
The William B. Pratt Endowment Fund will accept applications for grants to benefit Montana indigenous, folk, traditional, and media arts until March 31 .

Learn more about these grants at www.mtcf.org/grants .
Generosity at Work
The Women’s Foundation of Montana (WFM), a program of MCF, awarded $4,500 in grants last month to help support local events in February focused on empowering women and girls in our state:
  • 2020 Women’s Policy Leadership Institute, was a two-day hands-on conference, hosted by Montana’s Women Vote, about issues that impact women and families in Montana.
  • Girls’ STEM Roundup, a project of ExplorationWorks, was a day of learning and interactive workshops at Carroll College in Helena, focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) for 5th-8th grade girls.
  • Thrive, Girls for a Change 2020 Summit, was a day-long event devoted to encouraging high school-age kids to step out of their comfort zones and experience a day of incredible fun through a variety of workshops that included topics like jewelry making, leadership, and STEM careers at MSU Bozeman.
Thank you to our WFM supporters for making these grants possible!