January 2020
Letter From Mary
Dear Friends,

2020 is off to a great start! Here are a couple of highlights:

  • The Women’s Foundation of Montana turns 20 this year and we can’t wait to celebrate all that has happened over the last two decades to empower women and girls in Montana. And to share with you plans for the next few years. The future is bright.

  • Census 2020 is a once in a decade opportunity, happening in April, and we’re spreading the word!

  • The annual endowment payout process is well underway as our team gets ready to distribute over $3 million to Montana organizations the first part of March.

You have helped us arrive at the year 2020, ready to continue our mission of cultivating a culture of giving so Montana communities can flourish. Together we’re meeting critical needs in our communities. 

Thank you for your continued partnership.
Mary K. Rutherford 
President & CEO 
Census 2020: January Update
We are committed to helping Montana get an accurate count. Montana has much to gain with Census 2020. Montana Nonprofit Association (MNA) is leading an effort to help ensure an accurate count for our state. As part of the effort, MNA is launching a competitive, statewide program to award micro-grants to eligible nonprofit organizations to support get-out-the-count activities and events around the Census 2020. Organizations interested in leading activities to support an accurate count, specifically in hard to count populations, may apply for a mini-grant of up to $5,000 to fund their work. Deadline to apply is May 15. Awards will be given on a first come first serve basis so don’t delay in applying! Learn more.
Organization Highlight: Humane Society of Western Montana
The cost of pet care can often be a barrier to pet owners caring for the pets they love. General wellness checks, vaccinations, and more quickly add up. At the Humane Society of Western Montana (Missoula), they want to help pets stay in their homes by providing accessible and affordable programs for their owners. One way they do so is by hosting monthly wellness clinics for community pets that provide general wellness checks, microchipping, vaccinations, and extra collars and tags to those in our community that might have a hard time otherwise affording to do so. You can learn more about these clinics here.

This is just one way HSWM is pursuing its mission to:

  • Help pets stay in their homes by providing accessible and affordable programs
  • Provide physical, emotional, and medical care for the animals in their shelter
  • Match people with pets to enrich each others' lives
  • Engage the community and advocate on issues affecting the welfare of companion animals
  • Improve every animal's chance to find a lifelong home by addressing each pet's unique needs

Learn more at www.myhswm.org.

Organizations like the Human Society of Western Montana truly benefit from the generosity of our donor advisors who choose to support meaningful causes in their communities. Learn more about how you can give back. 
Children’s Book by Local Author Honors Montana Cattle Drive History 
Marcia Melton grew up hearing stories about her Grandfather Wilbur, a Nighthawk in Montana in the early 1900s, singing to keep the horses calm with a harmonica in his hands. That was the inspiration for her children’s book, The Nighthawk’s Harmonica: A Montana Roundup Story. The beautifully illustrated book centers around 14-year-old Will— the youngest cowboy on a Montana roundup. His job as Nighthawk is to keep the cattle and horses calm at night by riding around the herd and watching for dangers like wolves or bears. Will has two constant companions who make his job a lot easier—his horse Ranger and his trusty harmonica. He also has a grumpy and intimidating boss in the “Camp Cookie.” When a sleepy Will makes a series of small mistakes that hold up the cattle drive, he expects to be punished by an angry Cookie. Instead, Will discovers that there’s more to Cookie than meets the eye and learns an important lesson. 

An afterword provides information on the history of roundups with memories and photos of The Great Montana Centennial Cattle Drive of 1989, the proceeds of which were used to establish the Latigo Fund at Montana Community Foundation to benefit rural Montana and “to further the healthful development, education, and welfare of Montana citizens.” Throughout its history, the Latigo Fund has provided scholarships and made grants to nonprofit organizations. Now the Latigo Fund is a discretionary fund of MCF that offers programmatic support to rural communities through local community foundation support. 

Author Marcia Melton is a librarian and teacher whose family history in Montana echoes back to the late 1800s. She gathers ideas from family stories and her love of Montana to create historical fiction for young readers. She lives in Montana and Arizona. You can purchase her book online here.
Darby Town Community Endowment Fund Grant Cycle Opens January 31
A competitive grant cycle will open this Friday, January 31 to benefit the community of Darby, Montana. Grants will be made from the Darby Town Community Endowment Fund, established at MCF by Richard and Barbara Ackerman in 1999. Applicants must be either a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or an exempt governmental unit. Grants will be up to $4,000. While grants must be used for projects benefiting the Darby community and residents, the grantee organization does not need to be based in Darby. Learn more at www.mtcf.org/grants.
William B. Pratt Endowment Fund Currently Accepting Applications
The William B. Pratt Endowment Fund is currently accepting applications for grants to benefit Montana indigenous, folk, traditional, and media arts. Grants range from $500 to $1,500 and must be matched dollar-for-dollar in cash or a combination of cash and in-kind contributions. Montana 501(c)(3) organizations, local, state, and tribal governments are eligible to apply. Learn more at www.mtcf.org/grants
Scholarship Applications Open Until March 20
Did you know MCF awards over $450,000 annually for advanced education scholarships? We have scholarships for students seeking all levels of advanced education from trade school, to baccalaureate degrees and beyond. Help us spread the word to anyone you know who might be looking for financial assistance – we want to help! The deadline to apply for scholarships is March 20. For additional information, visit www.mtcf.org/applications.
New Community Partnerships 
In December, the Colstrip Impacts Foundation (CIF) Committee selected Montana Community Foundation (MCF) as their partner for administering $10 million for the benefit of the community of Colstrip and Rosebud County. Priorities for these funds include providing economic development opportunities, job training, and community stability to offset the anticipated loss of jobs, displacement of workers, lost tax revenues, and reductions in community services due to the closure of two coal facility units in Colstrip. 
Generosity at Work
In December, MCF awarded over $185,000 through 103 grants to support an array of great causes. Thank you to all donors for your generosity to our great state of Montana and thank you to the many nonprofits making great things happen.
Montana Community Foundation
33 S Last Chance Gulch, Ste 2A,
Helena, MT 59601
(406) 443-8313