September 2016

From Mary's Desk
Building community has been a focus of MCF over the years. We've done this in many ways, yet one we're particularly humbled by is our work with local community foundations. For many years, MCF has supported local community foundations as the go-to place for technical expertise, financial support and collaboration. MCF staff have played a key role in supporting the Community Foundations of Montana (CFM), a grassroots effort aimed at strengthening local community foundations across our great state. As is the case with many all-volunteer organizations, this group recognized the challenges of sustaining this effort through volunteer-only efforts. As MCF rededicated human and financial resources to strengthening communities through local community foundations efforts, CFM decided it was time to transition from a grassroots effort to a committee of MCF.
We are excited to announce the formation of a local community foundation advisory committee that will provide vision and feedback to improve the health of the community foundation sector in Montana. While it has been lengthy, the transition has been deliberative and responsive. When CFM and MCF decided to create an advisory committee under the umbrella of MCF, it was with an attempt to address the key challenges of capacity and the ability to support and bolster our sector, a sector crucial to identifying our communities' futures and the resources needed to reach those visions of tomorrow. 
The newly formed committee's membership was designed by four key criteria. First, any current CFM council member who was an active board or staff member of a local community foundation would have the opportunity to continue their service on the new committee. Second, we attempted to identify and fulfill a regionally diverse committee, meaning members were identified from East and West and from the Hi-Line and from the South. Third, representatives from Montana towns that vary in size. Urban, rural, and those in between were asked to serve and provide a voice to the diverse and unique needs of their communities. Finally, MCF recognized that to truly serve the local community foundation sector in Montana, a representative committee of MCF affiliate local community foundations and those standing independent would be necessary. These four factors have created a representative and strategic committee which will give MCF valuable, timely, and visionary direction for the future of our sector. 
This committee will launch with a strategic planning retreat mid-October. Graciously hosted by Mountain Sky Guest Ranch and facilitated by community foundation expert Marisa Bueno, our hope is the incredible work CFM has done in the last seven years will provide the strong foundation to plan the necessary steps for our future. We will identify the strategic goals and visions CFM created that remain relevant and timely and begin to create our roadmap of aspirations for our sector's strength. 
As this committee both meets for the first time in October and continues a vision of sector strength and vitality, I encourage Montana's local community foundations to use this committee as a listening and reactive tool in building your community foundation. This committee will identify resources needed, necessary training, and spaces where the community foundation can fill leadership needs. MCF is honored to be carrying this important work forward and thankful for the tireless effort of those who have built strength in the community foundation sector. We are honored and humbled to be entrusted with such an important responsibility. We are honored and humbled to be in this endeavor with you.


Mary K. Rutherford, MA, CFRE
President & Chief Executive Officer
MCF Selects Cambridge Associates to Manage Investments
MCF is dedicated to ensuring the funds entrusted to us are not only used in a manner that honors donor intent, but also that those funds are invested prudently. Our investment policy and careful financial management are essential in achieving the purpose of endowed charitable funds - that they provide a permanent source of income for the organizations and causes they support.

MCF's Investment Policy and Investment Committee guidelines direct our financial strategy to achieve the best results for endowment funds while balancing performance and risk. One key part of this is to conduct a request for proposals process from qualified investment advisors every five years. MCF does this to ensure our assets are managed in accordance with the best practices in endowment management today, with the appropriate resources and expertise. The due diligence process is a rigorous one that involves significant and detailed proposals, as well as lengthy in-person meetings and presentations from top firms across the country.

We're pleased to announce the selection of Cambridge Associates as our new investment advisors to manage the endowment assets held at MCF for the benefit of Montana. Cambridge Associates is a leading provider of independent investment services and research to more than 1,000 institutional investors worldwide including endowments, foundations, pensions and private clients. They offer an incredibly robust level of service, a very solid investment track-record, and a client roster including some of the largest and well-known foundations, universities and colleges, research institutions, museums and more. As an independent advisor, Cambridge receives no fees from the money management firms it recommends to clients. We are confident Cambridge Associates will be an excellent partner for MCF and true advantage for the funds we hold to benefit Montana forever.

We welcome any and all questions you may have in regard to this exciting transition, so please don't hesitate to contact us.  
Generosity at Work
August was an amazing month of generosity that you made possible. Thirty-five grants totaling more than $100,000 were made to worthy nonprofit organizations across Montana - thanks to many wonderful donors.

A great organization who shared their grant story with us that we'd like to share with you, is the Mustang Foundation in Malta. They received a $3,000 grant from the TransCanada Fund here at MCF that they in turn used to fulfill requests from educators. This included Chromebooks for the Resource Rooms, math supplies, books, music and more. The Mustang Foundation also used $5,000 it had raised to purchase additional Chromebooks for the elementary school. Thank you TransCanada and the Mustang Foundation for supporting such a great cause!

You too can help us put generosity to work. If you're interested in finding out more about establishing a fund or supporting an existing fund, visit the Giving section of our website.
Welcome Kacie!
Join us in welcoming our new Senior Accountant Kacie Tollefson! Kacie assists the CFO with managing the assets of the foundation and maintaining proper financial tracking and reporting within accounting, IRS and legal requirements.

Kacie was in public accounting for 15 years prior to joining MCF. She started her professional career at Gary McGee & Company in Portland, OR where she worked for over five years specializing in nonprofit audit and tax. Kacie then moved to Coeur d'Alene, ID and worked for Magnuson, McHugh & Company performing nonprofit and governmental audits. During her time in Coeur d'Alene, she also served as a member and the Treasurer of the Idaho Panhandle Kiwanis, and as a member and Chair of the Audit committee for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho.

Kacie has a bachelor's degree in Accounting and Business Administration with emphases in Finance and Management from Carroll College.
For George and Laurene
By Gail Engler
The George and Laurene Engler Montana Audubon Conservation Fund was created as a memorial for two very special people. Although they are no longer with us, George and Laurene's legacy of supporting and furthering conservation in Montana will live on through the creation of this permanent endowment, allowing others to give to a cause they both believed in very strongly - sustainable funding to monitor, study and conserve Montana's birds, including preservation, enhancement and restoration of Montana's avian habitats and to promote land use policies and legislation consistent with these conservation goals.
Our Dad (George) of course, was deeply involved in conservation issues, not only on the local level, but also throughout Montana. As Supervisor of the Lewis and Clark National Forest he successfully resisted unrestrained clear-cutting and helped clear the way for protection of the Rocky Mountain Front. He co-founded the Great Falls Chapter of Audubon -Upper Missouri Breaks Audubon (UMBA) - along with Margaret Adams, a retired school principal. George also founded the Great Falls Conservation Council which has been meeting regularly now since 1983.
George received a number of awards which recognized his dedication to conservation. These included Montana Audubon's Conservationist of the Year and Lifetime Achievement award in 2009. In 1993 he was honored by the Great Falls Conservation Council, for "providing leadership, inspiration and wisdom and his continuing dedication and service to the cause of conservation". The Council also has an annual conservation award named after George. Sigurd Olson, past President of the Wilderness Society and drafter of the Wilderness Act of 1964, accurately describes Dad's own feelings and viewpoint toward conservation - "Only with a deep and inherent feeling for the land can there be dedication in preserving it."
Laurene was also dedicated to supporting the conservation cause. Her support was more behind the scenes, but she was no less enthusiastic about the importance of preserving the land and keeping it accessible to the public for current and future generations. She and her sister, nephew and Dad once hiked to the Chinese Wall in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, and Mom insisted on hiking this rugged terrain in her Keds tennis shoes. Talk about dedication! Mom was also chief gourmet chef when our family went camping.
Our parents had many friends who are active with the local conservation-minded organizations. It is our hope that these friends and organizations will also want to honor George and Laurene's memory and help to continue their legacy of supporting conservation issues and causes by contributing to this endowment. The Engler family thanks you in advance for your contributions.
You can donate to this fund online or write a check, payable to Montana Community Foundation with Engler Audubon Fund in the memo line and mail to Montana Community Foundation, 1 N Last Chance Gulch, Ste 1, Helena, MT 59601.
As Dad once said, "We should count our blessings and give thanks for what we have. I hope we have the wisdom and the will to maintain it for our grandkids."
10 Questions for the Staff - Jenny Lou Stark
Who are the people that spend their days working for Montana's future? Let's find out!
1. Where are you from originally?
I have lived in many places from Montana to Colorado, way down to New Mexico back to Colorado, and finally Montana again. The place I've lived the longest and call home is Polson.

2. What's your position at MCF and what do you do?
I'm the Database & Scholarship Manager. I manage the information in our donor database as well as maintain our online donor portal. On the scholarship side, I work closely with scholarship fund representatives, school counselors and of course the many Montana students we're helping to achieve their academic dreams.

3. What's your favorite hobby/what do you do with your free time?
I enjoy creating cards for friends and family, making unique jewelry, and depending on the season I enjoy gardening and flowers, downhill and cross-country skiing.
Jenny Lou Stark
4. If you had to choose a different profession, what would it be and why?
I would say a pilot, because of the many places one can travel to.  

5. What's something not very many people know about you?
I'm a Navy Reserve veteran and I was also a firefighter/trail crew for the Three Rivers Ranger District in Troy, MT. I fought fires during the 1987 and 88 fire seasons.

6. What are three things you can't live without?
Family - My husband Tom, daughter Danielle and son Tyson (they are my world).
Water - I refer to it as Earth Vodka - it can be mixed with everything.
Food - that is not prepared by me. 

7. How did you first get involved in the nonprofit sector?
Working for the Diocese of Helena. I spent four years with the Guatemala Mission fundraising. The donor/parishioner generosity to support the Mission was always overwhelming.

8. If there was one thing you wanted people to know about MCF, what would it be?
I'd want them to know about the staff and their enthusiasm to work with and help our donors who have the generosity and compassion to give to others and their community.

9. What's your favorite place in Montana?
There are too many places to name, but if I had to pick a setting it would be a mountain lake with pine trees and the fresh Montana air.

10. What's your favorite thing about Montana/Montanans?
Montana - The big open sky.
Montanans - Down-to-earth attitude. 

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