From all of us at MCF
From Mary's Desk
This time of year is especially exciting for us at MCF as many individuals and businesses decide to support the causes they love during the holiday season. We continue to be inspired by so many people pulling together to support great causes across our state and meet critical needs in our communities. From arts and culture to animals and conservation, helping people in poverty, and beautification projects, there is so much we accomplish together.
That is one of the many reasons I enjoy the work we do at Montana Community Foundation. We get to experience the generosity of our great state first-hand. We see gifts come into our office and witness their impact on communities. We hear donor stories that highlight how families choose to give together and individuals choose to leave a legacy in the place they love.
We are honored to be your partner in philanthropy.
Mary K. Rutherford
President & CEO
Montana Census 2020:
In 2017, Montana received nearly $3 billion in federal funds because of Census data. That's 40% of Montana's Budget.
That means that the 2020 Census will help determine the state's share of federal funding for the next decade.
Scholarship Applications Open January 1
This year we have a Scholarship Toolkit that provides some great resources, including marketing materials and an FAQ.
Please help us spread the word!
Two New Board Members Join MCF in the New Year
Jon Rutt is a licensed Water Treatment Plant Operator. He and his wife Nancy owned and operated AQUA Systems of Montana for 37 years, providing residential and commercial water treatment services in the Laurel and Billings area. They sold the business in 2018 but Jon still works as a consultant, specializing in commercial, industrial and medical water treatment. Nancy and Jon also own a car wash in Laurel.
Jon is a founding member of the Laurel Montana Community Foundation, formed in 2015, and currently serves as Chairman. He is a long-time Rotarian and Paul Harris Fellow.
Jon is a 5th generation Montanan, born in Billings, and has lived and worked in Laurel all his adult life. Jon has three children and five grandchildren. He has been married to Nancy for 40 years and enjoys riding his motorcycle throughout Montana.
Duane Kurokawa is the President of the Western Bank of Wolf Point, where he has served in a variety of positions, starting as a teller, since 1979.
Duane completed some coursework at the University of Montana and attended the National Commercial School in Norman, Oklahoma. He then went on to attend the Graduate School of Banking in Madison, Wisconsin, where he graduated in 1992.
Duane is a past Wolf Point City Alderman and Chamber of Commerce Director. Additionally, he is Director of the Greater Northern Development Corporation, which currently serves 6 counties in Northeast Montana. He was a member of the original Montana Microbusiness Council and Montana Department of Transportation Study Commission. He served as the Director of the Helena Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Board of Directors from 2012-2017.
Duane was born and raised in Wolf Point, Montana and currently lives there with his wife, Rosie. He has two children and two grandchildren.
Playground in Chinook Receives Support from Two MCF Funds
Contributions from two donor-advised funds at MCF are helping create a safe place for children to play in Chinook.
The Davies Family Endowment Fund made a gift to the International Association of Lions Clubs and the First Bank of MT Division Glacier Bank Fund donated $3,000 to the Sweet Park Board to support the construction of a new playground in Sweet Park.
Sweet Park is the only park in Chinook with playground equipment and is in disrepair. Plans are in place to replace the current playground with an ADA-compliant playground that includes a better drainage system, curly slide, and new swing set with an inclusive seat.
Doug Mosser, First Bank fund representative, says he "hopes this contribution will help the Sweet Park Board get one step closer to building this playground and provide a safe place for children to play."
The estimated cost of the playground is $55,000. Sweet Park Board President, Ben Hall, says they have already raised about $15,000.
To learn more about the project, contact Ben Hall at (406) 357-3277.
Additionally, the Davies Family Endowment Fund donated to the Blaine County Fair Foundation for road and parking lot improvements and the First Bank MT Division Glacier Bank Fund supported a
child safety prevention education program in the community through the
National Child Safety Council.
Organization Highlight: Mountain Home Montana
Changing Lives, Two Generations at a Time
At 21 years old, Alexis walked through Mountain Home's doors in Missoula, looking for a second chance. She had just gotten out of rehab for a drug addiction and she and her baby had no place to go. Two years later, she has held a stable job for 2 years, her daughter is excelling at Early Head Start, and they moved into their apartment last Christmas- all thanks to the support they received at Mountain Home Montana.
This is just one of the many young women Mountain Home Montana has helped and their success rate is impressive- 92% of the women who enter their program find safe and stable housing. This outcome is especially notable given the high needs population they serve:
- 60% are homeless
- 40% come from foster care
- 90% suffer from mental illness (mainly due to childhood trauma)
Mountain Home Montana was created by Laura Snyder, a labor and delivery nurse, compelled to respond to the urgent need for teenage mothers to have a safe place to live with their babies. In 2000, Laura gathered together an energetic group of compassionate citizens to form Mountain Home's first board. They then joined forces with a local philanthropist, Bonnie Hamilton, who generously donated her 3-bedroom home to the cause.
Mountain Home Montana now boasts a 7-bedroom residence, 5 transitional living apartments, an intensive education and employment program, licensed behavioral health services, life skills classes, a community center, and drop-in childcare. The program currently serves about 175 women and children.
Since 2016, the organization has doubled its services...and they're not done. In January, they plan to launch a team-based volunteer mentoring program, Open Table, that will provide follow-along support to mothers when they leave the program and are now working to add mental health support and therapeutic childcare for the children they serve. Learn more about Mountain Home Montana at
Since 2010, Mountain Home Montana has received over $23,000 from donor-advised funds at MCF. Alysha Goheen, Director of Planning and Development, at Mountain Home, says they are grateful for contributions from these funds because they allow Mountain Home to be responsive and innovative in helping young women in need.
Want to learn how you can make an impact in your community with your donor-advised fund? Contact us.
The William B. Pratt Endowment Fund to Benefit Indigenous, Folk, and Traditional Arts
The William B. Pratt Endowment Fund was established by William B. Pratt, a former employee at MCF, who has a life-long interest in Indigenous, Folk, and Traditional arts, with experience as a musician working in the folk tradition and as a living history and production artisan in forged iron. This fund also honors his work in documentary ad industrial film/video production, fostering community video efforts, and his extensive experience in grants administration, the development of arts and nonprofit organizations, and fostering philanthropy in the state.
Grants from the fund will be made:
- to build awareness, involvement, and preservation of Indigenous, Folk, and Traditional Arts in Montana.
- to encourage the education about, as well as the production and presentation of, the Media Arts in Montana.
- for collaborative efforts that strengthen the fields of the Indigenous, Traditional, Folk or Media Arts in the state.
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.
The grant cycle for the William B. Pratt Endowment Fund opens January 10.
Local Community Foundation Grant Dollars at Work
Local Community Foundations do great work in Montana's communities. Here are some recent grant highlights from MCF Affiliates
Llane Carroll and Sabre Moore, Carter County Museum
Photo credit: Ekalaka Eagle
Carter County Community Foundation
- A basket stretcher to help with rough country rescues and a power load to help EMTs get patients into and out of the ambulances
- Support for the Carter County Geological Society Junior Scientist Program Summer 2020
- Upgrade of main computer and purchase of a 27" monitor for Ekalaka Library
- Instrument repairs, equipment, and supplies for Ekalaka public schools
Broadwater Community Foundation
- Updated playground in Townsend for K-12 District #1 students
- Roof repair and replacement of the Legion Hall in Townsend
- Support for the digitization of Townsend Newspapers at Broadwater County Museum
Hill County Community Foundation
- Emergency food and hygiene supplies to citizens of Hill County
- Shakespeare in the Park in Havre Summer 2020
- Art mural in downtown Havre
- Basic needs support for children in foster care through CASA of Hill County
- Improvements to the North Star Hingham pool
- Ribbon skirt instruction to members of the Hill County Native American community for ribbon skirts that will be showcased in the upcoming 2020 Spring Sun Dance
Great Falls Area Community Foundation
- Operating support for Alliance Youth to open the Youth Resource Center
- Rural Dynamics financial class curriculum for veterans who are homeless or enrolled in a treatment court program
- Activities and excursions for children at Great Falls Children's Receiving Home
- Updates to the Children's Museum of Montana
Lincoln County Community Foundation
Blaine County Community Foundation
- Slab repair for Chinook Food Pantry
- A chuck wagon refrigerated pie display for Montana 4-H
- Harlem Volunteer Fire Department brush truck hose reel
- Chinook Carnegie Library traveling exhibit
Generosity at Work
In November, MCF awarded over $94,000 through 54 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.