July 2015

From Mary's Desk

Like many of you, we live and work in Montana. We are dedicated to serving local interests through our partnership with philanthropists and volunteers in service to communities and the organizations that help make them great. We also believe that local communities are best able to identify and respond to local challenges. That's why for more than 26 years, MCF has partnered with local communities to help them address local challenges.


When you entrust charitable funds to MCF, you can be assured that we will be here, forever, to honor your wishes, administer the funds in the way you intended and do so in accordance with all applicable endowment management laws. Your investment through MCF supports the work we are doing to preserve Montana's future for all.

MCF takes its responsibility as a steward of funds very seriously. To that point, our investment strategy is patient. We are an institutional investor, meaning MCF's endowment assets are invested for the benefit of others. We comply with Montana's Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA). Our objective is to ensure the purchasing power of invested funds remain strong over time and our asset allocation is established with the same long-term perspective. Over the last ten-year history of our pooled endowment portfolio, our results have exceeded our benchmark and are in line with our community foundation peers across the country.

It is a balanced investment approach, diversified to reduce wide swings in market value, and manages risk to be prudent with a strategy focused on long-range appreciation.

We are proud to be your partner in this process. Thank you for the confidence you have placed in us. We work hard every day to continue earning that trust.




Mary K. Rutherford, MA, CFRE

President & Chief Executive Officer

Join Our Team!!!

We're growing and that means we're hiring! If you're looking (or know someone who is!) to join an awesome team of professionals dedicated to ensuring the future of Montana through philanthropy, look no further! Montana Community Foundation is seeking applicants for three positions: Program Officer - Local Community Foundations (Helena), Planned Giving Officer (Helena) and a Development Coordinator (Missoula).

Historic Cathedral in Great Falls Receives $150,000 Anonymous Grant

St. Ann's Cathedral of Great Falls received a $150,000 grant from Montana Community Foundation to aid in the repair of their roof. The grant from an anonymous donor is nearly half of the $342,000 needed to complete the repairs and was enough to reach the fundraising goal.

Originally commissioned in 1904 by Great Falls' first Catholic bishop, the cathedral's 35-year-old leaking and hail-damaged roof has been in need of replacement for approximately eight years. With $2.1 million in restoration costs already invested in the cathedral's precious interior in a project completed in 2004, the repairs to the roof are critical in preventing damage. 


"A great deal of money and effort has already been invested in restoring the cathedral and that was at risk due to the damaged roof," said Rev. Oliver Doyle, pastor of St. Ann's. "This generous gift is a huge blessing and is certainly what made the repairs possible." 

Father Oliver Doyle of St. Ann's receiving a $150,000 grant award from MCF board members Brian Patrick and Barbara Byrne and President and CEO Mary Rutherford. Click the image above to read the story in the Great Falls Tribune.  

"This grant to St. Ann's represents tremendous generosity," said Mary Rutherford, MCF President and CEO. "Our mission is to create a culture of giving so Montana communities can flourish. St. Ann's is an incredibly important part of the Great Falls community and this grant certainly supports that mission. While the donor will remain anonymous, I can tell you their hope for this gift is to inspire others to recognize the resources they have and in turn give to worthy causes in need."


The anonymous grant is one of the largest ever made by the Montana Community Foundation. Work has already begun on the roof at St. Ann's and is expected to be completed around Labor Day. 

Generosity at Work

With 90 grants totaling more than $320,000, June was a great month for Montana nonprofit organizations and a very generous one for donors. Thank you to all of them for their commitment to philanthropy in Montana!


We're so happy to receive stories and images from grateful organizations about how generosity is at work in their communities. This one comes from the New Life Mission in Poplar. Thanks to a $1,000 grant recommended by the Roosevelt County Community Foundation, the New Life Mission was able to purchase a much needed freezer.

Pictured left to right, board members George Eder, Rev. Susan Ennis, Jerome (JJ) Taflan, Rick Kim and Stephen GreyHawk accept a $1,000 grant to purchase a much needed new freezer.    
Simplified Fees  

At the June board meeting, the MCF board unanimously approved a simplification of our administrative fee structure. We hope this new structure provides you with a clear and easy understanding of administrative fees. The new structure can be viewed and downloaded here.

A Wonderful Evening at 11th & Grant

It's become our new tradition to hold a social event the evening prior to board meetings. These events are an opportunity for donors, nonprofit organization representatives and many other folks who are friends of MCF to get together and hear about the latest happenings and meet each other. Our June meeting was held in Bozeman and we had a great turnout for the event - thank you to all who attended! Our special thanks to Montana PBS for providing such an amazing venue for our gathering!

The MCF social event held in Bozeman at Montana PBS prior to our June board meeting.     
10 Questions for the Board - Laura Brehm  

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 was born and raised in Sacramento, California in a 5th generation rice farming family. Luckily, I escaped for college to UC Berkeley, became enlightened, met my husband and raised our daughter and son in the Bay Area. We moved to Montana in 2003 when I was offered the position of President and CEO of the University of Montana Foundation. Family was a big draw to Montana for us -- my identical twin sister and her family have been living on Flathead Lake since 1978 and we vacationed every summer in Western Montana.

MCF board member Laura Brehm

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

I retired from the UM Foundation in 2013 and I am now an independent philanthropy consultant working with the nonprofit community.


3. What's your favorite hobby/what do you do with your free time? 

I love to fly fish and float our beautiful rivers. I would do it more often if I could. BUT, what I love to do the most is spend time with my grandson, Gabe, who lives in Santa Cruz, California. We try to spend part of every winter at the beach.


4. If you had to choose a different profession, what would it be and why?

That's a hard question. I have spent my whole career in philanthropy for public higher education and land conservation. I can't imagine doing anything else.


5. What's something not very many people know about you?

I was a competitive hula dancer when I was a child.


6. What are three things you can't live without?

Family, fresh air and clean water.


7. How did you first get involved in the nonprofit sector?

I started as a Senior Typist Clerk at UC Berkeley when my husband went back to school after Vietnam on the GI Bill. I eventually became the Assistant Dean for Development and Alumni Relations at the Berkeley Business School.


8. If there was one thing you wanted people to know about MCF, what would it be?

Everything we do is about improving the quality of life across Montana and making it possible for every person to support the causes they care about close to home. 


9. What's your favorite place in Montana?

Our home in the Rattlesnake Valley in Missoula.


10. What's your favorite thing about Montana/Montanans?

I love the fact that everyone, regardless of political persuasion, share a core value of respecting our land and understanding what it means to our collective soul.

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www.mtcf.org  |  (406) 443-8313