September 2014

From Mary's Desk

We received wonderful responses from our first e-newsletter, so thank you for reading and thank you for sharing the positive comments about the progress the Montana Community Foundation has made this year. We couldn't have done it without your support and encouragement.


As we continue to refine and improve our database, we add additional contacts to this monthly communication. As a donor, partner, grantee, or other valuable constituent of MCF, we sincerely hope you find the information and news valuable, but if you would like to opt-out from further email communications from us, please use the "Safe Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of this email.  


September means Congress returns to Washington. One item we're watching closely is the America Gives More Act (H.R. 4719). Passed by a strong bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives, the Act will make permanent several tax policies that have proven successful in increasing community investment: the IRA charitable rollover; the enhanced deduction for food inventory donations; and the enhanced deduction for donations of conservation easements. These common sense policies give donors confidence and certainty as they decide how to direct their charitable investments. We hope you'll join us in urging the U.S. Senate to take up and approve the America Gives More Act.






Mary K. Rutherford, MA, CFRE

Chief Executive Officer

Webinar Alert!
MCF will be holding a general update and investment performance webinar on Tuesday, September 30 at 2 p.m. This webinar will provide a brief update on the latest happenings at MCF, as well as an in-depth look at recent investment results. Watch your inbox for a registration invitation soon or register now for the webinar here.
Generosity at Work

We and our grantees continue to be humbled by the generosity of our donors. August saw approximately 26 grants totaling more than $85,000.


One of our grantees in August was  Big Sky Youth Empowerment. Big Sky Youth Empowerment was incorporated in 2001 in order to meet the demand for creative programs targeting high school-aged, at-risk youth. Combining mentoring, outdoor recreation and life-skills training, this outstanding organization is making an incredible positive impact on young Montanans. We hope you'll join us in supporting them!


Learn more about giving back to Montana here.

Big Sky Youth Empowerment program participants conquering their fears and experiencing the outdoors while rock climbing.
10 Questions for the Board - Dan Clark

Just who are these wonderful folks that give so much back to Montana through their work with MCF and beyond? Let's find out!


1. Where are you from originally?

I grew up in Tucson, AZ. When I moved to Choteau, MT in the summer of 1997, I realized that I live the same distance from Canada as I did from Mexico while in Arizona. I prefer the cold over the heat.   

2. What's your "real" job outside the foundation?

I am the Director of the MSU Extension Local Government Center. I provide technical assistance, research and training to local government officials all across the state. 

Dan Clark serves as Chair of 
the MCF board.
3. What's your favorite hobby/what do you do with your free time?
I enjoy mountaineering. My summers are usually planned around climbing big mountains in Montana and the Pacific Northwest.  
4. If you had to choose a different profession, what would it be and why?
I love my profession; however, I enjoy working with my hands and creating things. I enjoy welding and iron work and building things out of steel.  
5. What's something not very many people know about you?
I recently purchased an old time blacksmith forge and I am teaching myself how to be a blacksmith. Thank goodness for YouTube and Google. I find a lot of great how-to information online.
6. What are three things you can't live without?
Since I can only give three responses, I would say first is my family. I love my family and we enjoy living in Montana and love the communities and the people. Second, I would say my work. I love connecting with people who serve their local communities. They work very hard to create great places to live. I am inspired by their hard work and dedication. Lastly, I can't live without "mountowce." I made that word up. It stands for mountains, snow and ice. I love Montana's outdoors and fully embrace our nine months of winter. I don't know what I would do all winter if I could not play in the mountains on snow and ice.
7. How did you first get involved in the nonprofit sector?
While living in Choteau, I served on several nonprofit boards focused on economic and community betterment. It is inspiring to work with other community members who are dedicated to creating vibrant and thriving communities.
8. If there was one thing you wanted people to know about MCF, what would it be?
Think about how much your community means to you. It is where your family and friends live and learn. It is where people care about you and will help when needed. A place where you feel safe and you plan for its future. It is all these things because of people present and in the past who have invested in making your community what it is today. The Montana Community Foundation and its affiliates are here as a resource for you to invest in your community's future and to make sure your community is vibrant and thriving for generations to come.

9. What's your favorite place in Montana?
Anyplace 7,000 feet above sea level.
10. What's your favorite thing about Montana/Montanans?
My favorite thing about Montanans is the sense of pride in "place." In all my work and travel around the state, I haven't met anyone who isn't proud to be a Montanan. We celebrate our heritage, honor our past, but also see our future as a place we create by design, not chance.
Preserving Montana's Future Through Scholarship

MCF awarded nearly $265,000 in scholarships to deserving Montana students for the 2014-15 academic year. Approximately 150 students and 25 schools are encompassed in the awards.

One deserving student attending MSU is Laurel Sabol. A Bozeman native, Laurel is earning a degree in Exercise Science in hopes of ultimately pursuing a doctorate. She plans to become a pediatric occupational therapist with a specialty in autism.

"I would like to work in Bozeman as a way to give back and stay a part of the community that has changed my life," said Laurel. "I would like to thank Marcia Edsall and her family for helping make my dreams come true. Montana is such a special place and I hope to be able to give back in the way that she has given to me."

The Marcia Edsall Scholarship Fund was created to support young women from Gallatin County. Born in 1929 in Pony, Montana, Marcia and her family later moved to Bozeman where she also attended Montana State University. Described by one of her daughters as a "very generous person" who taught her children to "always give back more than they received," Marica's kindness is helping young women like Laurel achieve their goals.

Learn how you too can help Montana's deserving students here.  

Bozeman native and resident Laurel Sabol is one of 150 students to receive a scholarship through MCF, which awarded nearly $265,000 to MT students for the 2014-15 academic year.
Curating the Data

Emma Reilly joined the Montana Community Foundation in May 2014 following her graduation from Carroll College. She works as the database coordinator, managing MCF's database and development software.  


As a teenager Emma and her family lived in Great Falls, but she fell in love with Helena on an art field trip. She enrolled at Carroll College and become involved in Helena's thriving arts community.


During her studies she worked and volunteered at the Myrna Loy, Holter Museum and Helena Symphony (some amazing Montana nonprofits!). Emma graduated from Carroll cum laude with a bachelor's degree in Curatorial Studies and a minor in Arts Management and Administration.  


She joined the Montana Community Foundation to gain more knowledge and experience in the complex and rewarding nonprofit world. Emma plans to one day acquire a master's degree in Museum Studies. She likes hiking, cooking, camping, visiting museums and volunteering at community events. She's also awfully good at curating the heck out of our data.

Emma Reilly is MCF's Database Coordinator.
LCF + MCF = Win 4 MT

Since 2005, MCF has raised nearly $3.4 million in endowed assets for local community foundation endowments through incentive programs like LCF+. Grants from this program alone total almost $500,000, the vast majority of which has been reinvested in local communities throughout Montana.


A 2014 grant from Valley County Community Foundation (VCCF) is just one example of how the LCF+ program has enhanced the giving power of a local community foundation. With $1,772, the Center purchased 48 new chairs and a storage cart adding comfort and value to a new wing at the Milk River Activity Center in Glasgow. The Center's Executive Director Mark Wethern said an official open house in December will kick off use of the much-needed space. The new wing will house a dining room, a kitchen and new restrooms. The ability to store the chairs neatly and out of the way enhances use of the dining room for other activities by Center clients and staff. In its planning, the Center's Board of Directors designed the addition to be accessible and available to community groups.


The LCF+ program that VCCF has participated in since 2006 has been a wonderful addition to yearly granting, VCCF treasurer Margareta Walstad explained. "Over the years we have been able to distribute more than $22,000 to local non-profits, in addition to grants from our regular endowment earnings. The possibility of LCF+ funds was always mentioned in our year-end fundraising letter to our donors so that they knew that for every dollar they gave, we could get additional funds from MCF to grant to Valley County."  

New chairs will soon fill the new dining room and kitchen addition to the Milk River Activity Center in Glasgow. The Center's Executive Director Mark Wethern and Connie Terry are getting ready to set things up. A $1,772 grant from the Valley County Community Foundation, assisted by LCF+ funds from MCF, paid for 48 chairs and a storage cart.

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