November 2019

Here in Montana, we are united not only by one Big Sky but also by the desire to see our communities thrive, generation after generation. As Thanksgiving approaches, I am thankful for our state and the communities that make it what it is. 

With your help, our towns and counties are more resilient. They are prepared for when disaster strikes, students are able to pursue their dreams, veterans are supported when they return home and nonprofit organizations can continue the good work they do to help our most vulnerable populations.  You are helping us fulfill our mission to cultivate a culture of giving so Montana communities can flourish

Thank you.

You are an integral part of our work and, at MCF, we are grateful for your partnership. I look forward to what the future holds for Montana. 

Happy Thanksgiving.


Mary K. Rutherford 
President & CEO 
Montana Census 2020:  November Update

U.S. Census Bureau to Increase Pay Rates for Census Field Workers

Beginning December 1, the U.S. Census Bureau will increase Census field workers' pay rates across the country. In Montana, the wages will increase to a starting rate of $17 per hour for enumerators and $19.50 for those working in Cascade, Gallatin, Lewis and Clark, Missoula and Yellowstone Counties.
How is the Census Data Used?

- Decision-making at all government levels
- Drawing school district boundaries
- Development of rural areas
- Assessing the potential for spread of communicable diseases
- Directing funds for services for people in poverty

Want to learn more? Visit and follow Montana Census 2020 on Facebook.
The Disadvantaged Children's Fund Turns 30 Years Old

Dick and Cheri Cox opened the Disadvantaged Children's Fund in November 1989 as the first donor-advised fund at Montana Community Foundation. This year, that fund celebrates 30 years of granting to local organizations to help disadvantaged children in Montana.

When asked why he and Cheri opened the fund decades ago, Dick says, "We saw children hurting and asked ourselves 'how can we fix this?'." 

Since the fund's inception, Dick and Cheri have contributed over $367,000 to their community through this fund. 

One organization supported through the fund is Intermountain Montana, a nonprofit organization located in Helena that is near and dear to Cheri. She says she had the opportunity to tour the organization and saw a critical need being met thanks to Intermountain's work to "provide prevention, protection, treatment, and permanency for all struggling children, youth, and families."

Thank you, Dick and Cheri, for your continued support.
Annual Meeting Held in Billings

The Board of Directors met in Billings in early November and provided some great insight and guidance for MCF. Longtime board members, Dale Woolhiser and Cindy Woods, were honored for their service. 

Thank you for all you do in support of our mission!
Scholarship Highlight:  T. Eugene Young Scholarship

Gene Young first fell in love with Montana as a seasonal ranger for Yellowstone National Park, raising money for college. That love translated into the creation of the T. Eugene Young Scholarship, created in 2008, in the form of a bequest to Montana Community Foundation.  Gene Young  knew the value of a good education and wanted to help young Montanans find stable jobs that would keep them in Montana. 

During his life, Gene Young received an engineering degree from the University of Texas, built warplanes in Kansas, and eventually end up in Montana as a geophysicist for Shell Oil. He enjoyed hiking, backpacking and cross-country skiing throughout the region. In reference to the scholarship, he told a friend he wanted to leave his fortune to his adopted state of Montana because Montanans worked harder than people he had observed elsewhere. He wanted to give back to the people and the place he loved so dearly. 

To be eligible to apply, the applicant must: 
  • be a high school senior graduating from a Montana high school.
  • demonstrate a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • have plans to attend college to study science, technology, engineering, mathematics or healthcare.
Selection is based on the following factors: financial need, academic achievement, leadership ability, school and  community participation, and personal attributes. Preference is given to those applicants attending a university/college in Montana.
What began in 1988 with Montana Community Foundation's first scholarship has grown to nearly $500,000 in scholarships to Montana's students. In 2019, that meant 187 students received support for their educational endeavors.   Learn more about how you can help students achieve their dreams.

The application period for scholarships  for the 2020-2021 academic year opens on January 1. 
100 Strong Supports Montana's First On-Campus Sweat Lodge

100 Strong members voted to make this quarter's donation to MSU Billings in support of Montana's first on-campus sweat lodge, located on the MSU Billings campus.  According to Julie Seedhouse, member of the 100 Strong visionary team, "The reason this project resonated with our membership is because of the impact it will have on young Native American women who are choosing to go to college. By bringing an important aspect of their culture to campus, MSU Billings is in a better position to recruit, retain and serve Native American students. It is such a unique and exciting project!"

The 100 Strong fund is housed at Montana Community Foundation and awards quarterly grants for capital and life-changing projects to local, charitable 501(c)(3) organizations that directly support and improve the lives of women and children in our community. Members of 100 Strong Billings pledge to make a tax-deductible donation of $100 per quarter, for a total of $400 per year, which will is held by the Montana Community Foundation.  Each quarter, members vote for a local organization to receive a gift generated from these funds.  

10 Questions for Staff- Teal Whitaker

Who are the people that spend their days working for Montana's future? Let's find out!
Where are you from originally (city and state)?
Manhattan, MT

What's your position at MCF and what do you do?
Communications and Outreach Manager. I oversee marketing and communications at MCF.

What did you do prior to joining MCF?
I was the Campaign Manager/Communications Coordinator at United Way of Yellowstone County. 

Do you have any educational degrees and/or professional certifications, etc.?
I have a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations with a minor in Spanish from Gonzaga University. I also have a certificate in Nonprofit Management from University of Washington. 

What's your favorite hobby/what do you do with your free time?
I love to read and make crafts with my kids.

What's something not many people know about you?
I am semi-fluent in Spanish.

If you had to choose a different profession, what would it be and why?
Floral design- I actually did it briefly in college and loved it.

What are three things you can't live without?
My family, good food, and music to dance to.

How did you first get involved in the nonprofit sector?
I worked in the chapel at a homeless shelter. 

If there's one thing you want people to know about MCF, what is it?
MCF is making philanthropy happen in Montana. We have a strong team dedicated to helping donors, nonprofits and communities work together to address big community needs in Montana.

What's your favorite place in Montana?
Big Sky 

What's your favorite thing about Montana/Montanans?
That getting dressed up often involves cowboy boots.

Generosity at Work

In October, we awarded $146,500 through 28 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.

The holiday season and end of the year is right around the corner- don't delay, give today! MCF can help you give back through a variety of giving options. Contact us
for more information. 
Correction from our Veterans Day Special Release Infinity: Justin Campos served in the U.S. Army.
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