January 2021
Letter From Kelly, MCF New Board Chair
Dear Friends

Happy New Year - Did you make any resolutions?

I made two. The first was based on a quote from Pablo Picasso, “the meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” I encourage you to identify your gift, whether it be time spent in service or through philanthropy. Remember, when you find your gift, MCF is ready to help you achieve your purpose and give it away.

The New Year marks the start of my role as chair of the MCF Board of Directors. I have been a champion of MCF since it started in 1988. For the last several years, I have served on the board with many talented individuals and staff that have continually evolved to meet philanthropy’s growing demands.

Like many of you, I was anxious for 2020 to be over because of the devastating challenges we faced. For my second resolution, I resolved to center my thoughts on hope for the new year. As I reflect on 2020, I also remember the inequities that were spotlighted and the hidden voices that were heard, the new partnerships that were made to meet the needs of our communities, and the efficiencies that were gained that quickly put dollars in the hands of the nonprofit organizations that were meeting their mission in a whole new way.

Hope is a feeling we must develop and cultivate, but like faith, it is also a state with which we are graced. Hope can foster determination and grit—the ability to bounce back and to remain determined despite failures and setbacks—when we make daily efforts to change and improve what we can control.

In hope and purpose, 
Kelly Bruggeman
Board Chair
What You Need to Know about Annual Endowment Distributions
The annual endowment payout process is well underway as the MCF team gets ready to distribute more than $3 million to Montana organizations in the first part of March. Below are answers to commonly asked questions about annual endowment distributions.
What are annual endowment distributions?
Annual endowment distributions are paid out each spring from qualifying endowment funds at Montana Community Foundation (MCF) to benefiting nonprofits.

When can benefiting organizations expect to see funds in their account?
We plan to make ACH (electronic) payments on Monday, March 1, 2021. While payments will be initiated electronically on Monday, benefiting organizations will see these distributions in your bank account by the end of the week, depending on how quickly your bank processes the deposit.

Who receives information about my organization’s distribution(s)?

After the electronic payment is sent, a letter is mailed to the designated fund representative with the amount of the distribution(s), the fund(s) making the distribution, and the mailing address for the donor, unless it is an anonymous donor, in which case, you can send a thank you directly to MCF and we will pass it along for you. Need to update your fund representative information? Contact Cathy

By the end of March, MCF sends communication to the donors who established designated endowments that benefit specifically named organizations. We inform the donors as to the amount distributed to the benefiting organization through the endowment payout process.

What if bank account information has changed?

Distributions are made via ACH payments to your organization’s bank account. If your bank account information has changed since March 1, 2020, please complete the Direct Deposit Form and return it by mail by February 9, 2021. If your bank was sold/merged with another bank, we need a new ACH form, even if you didn’t change your accounts. If nothing has changed or if you recently sent in a new ACH form, you don’t need to do anything. 

To learn more or if you have any questions, visit our website or contact Cathy Cooney, Director of Donor Services at ccooney@mtcf.org.
MCF Receives Million-Dollar Surprise to Forever Support Deer Lodge Students
The Montana Community Foundation, Inc. recently received a million-dollar surprise from the estate of Eveline Kyle to forever benefit Deer Lodge students. Eveline leaves behind a lasting legacy in the Deer Lodge community through her $1 million gift to establish the Joseph and Eveline Kyle Fund. This new endowment will provide scholarships to non-traditional students, such as adult and re-entry students, as they pursue their academic dreams. As an endowed fund, the scholarship will support local students forever.

Scholarship Applications Now Available!
Each year, MCF awards nearly $500,000 in scholarships to well-deserving students in Montana. Don’t miss out! Scholarship applications for the 2021-2022 school are now available. The deadline to apply is March 19. Scholarships are available for students seeking all levels of advanced education from trade school to baccalaureate degrees and beyond.
Scholarship awards generally range between $500 and $20,000, some of which are renewable for multiple years. Qualifications vary widely, resulting in scholarship eligibility for a diverse range of students. Both traditional and nontraditional Montana students are encouraged to apply. Students can apply online with a submission deadline for most applications of March 19, 2021. Learn more and apply here
Grants Available to Benefit Indigenous, Folk, Traditional, and Media Arts
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 $2,000 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.
Grant Cycle to Benefit Community of Darby Opens February 1
MCF’s annual grant cycle to benefit the community and residents of Darby, Montana opens on February 1. Grants will be made from the Darby Town Endowment Fund, established at MCF by Richard and Barbara Ackerman in 1999 and enhanced through generous contributions from community members. Grant applications will be accepted until March 5. Applicants must be either a 501(c)(3) nonprofit or an exempt governmental unit. Grants will be up to $4,000. 

Meet our newest Board Member, Dan Mclean
Please join us in welcoming Dan McLean to the MCF Board of Directors. Dan served as MCF’s legal counsel for many years and brings his expertise and passion for philanthropy to the board. He has been elected to serve a three-year term.

Dan retired as an attorney in the spring of 2019 after serving as a partner in the Crowley Fleck law firm for 38 years with a primary focus on trust and estates, elder law, business and nonprofit organizations, and charitable giving. During his career, Dan received several accolades, including the William J. Jameson award in 2019. He has been an active member of his community, serving on several nonprofit boards, including on the initial board for what is now the Helena Area Community Foundation.

Upcoming Event: Portal Training February 2
Thank you to everyone who has already registered for the portal!

The MCF Fundholder Portal allows fundholders to view fund information, run quarterly statements, see contribution history, make grants, and more.

Want to learn more about the portal? Please join us for an upcoming training on Tuesday, February 2, 2021, at 10:00 AM. Whether you are already actively using the portal or still need to register, we hope to provide helpful tools and information for getting the most out of the portal.

For any questions before then, please contact Cathy Cooney, Director of Donor Services, at ccooney@mtcf.org or (406) 441-4954 for assistance. You can also refer to the QuickStart Portal Guide for detailed portal instructions.