August 2015

From Mary's Desk
It's that time of year. Some students are waking up bursting with excitement to be returning to school and others we have to drag from bed kicking and screaming. Back-to-school time and the fact that I've had my own five-year-old grandson staying with me for the last few weeks made me think of one of the most important things we as parents, grandparents, educators and friends can teach our children about: charity. There is no better way to inspire a lifetime of philanthropy than teaching children at a young age about the power and importance of giving. 

It's something that can be fun and easy. One of the simplest ways is through an allowance. Have part of it be designated for spending on things they would like, part goes into savings (another very important lesson to instill early), and part goes to charity. This could be in the form of a direct monetary donation to an organization they choose, or maybe the money is used to buy something the charity needs like pet food for the local animal shelter or books for an after-school program. 
Another great way is to turn some of their "screen time" into a search for a great cause to support. Many nonprofit organizations have fun and engaging websites where children can read stories and see pictures and videos about charitable opportunities they may want to help.

Ways for children to give and learn about charity are everywhere. Have them help an elderly neighbor with some yardwork. Ask people to bring books or toys to birthday parties to donate to charity. Have your children help find canned goods in the pantry or at the grocery store to take to the local food bank. Make sure to involve your children in finding clothes and toys that can be taken to the Good Will or the Salvation Army and bring them along when you take the items in.

The best way to teach children about giving is to make sure they actively participate in the process and you make that process fun. Philanthropy is a gift we can give our children that will last a lifetime. 
Mary K. Rutherford, MA, CFRE
President & Chief Executive Officer
Camp Mak-A-Dream Receives $200,000 Anonymous Grant
to Complete New Wellness Center
Camp Mak-A-Dream received a surprise grant for $200,000 from a charitable fund at the Montana Community Foundation supported by an anonymous donor(s). The fund is a charitable donor-advised fund dedicated to supporting worthy organizations and causes throughout Montana. Camp Mak-A-Dream is a charitable organization that provides cost-free Montana experiences in an intimate community setting for children, teens, young adults, women and families affected by cancer, as well as programs for children who have a sibling or a parent with cancer.
Camp Mak-A-Dream was in the process of raising funds to construct its new wellness center and was approximately $156,000 short of their $1.43 million goal. The 6,700 square-foot center is dedicated to helping courageous cancer survivors gain independence and live life to its fullest. It adds much-needed space to create new programs and expand current services, housing a teaching kitchen, a community room and more. The donor(s) had initially decided to make a $100,000 grant, but when they learned how close the organization was to achieving their goal, they increased the grant by an additional $100,000 to provide the full amount needed as well as some additional funding for the deserving organization.
MCF presented an anonymous grant to Camp Mak-A-Dream for $200,000 to complete their new wellness center. Click the image above to read the story in the Missoulian.
"We are so thankful for this wonderful generosity," said Laura Bianco Hanna, Executive Director of Camp Mak-A-Dream. "Camp isn't just a retreat and respite from the daily grind, it is truly a place where campers, regardless if they are 6, 16 or 60, find they aren't alone and that others know exactly what it's like to walk in their shoes. From this experience they gain hope, confidence and a network of support that inspires them long after they return home. While we don't know who the anonymous donor is, we want them to know their gift is going to make a huge difference in helping the people we serve."
"The generosity of Montanans is something that continues to humble us here at MCF," said Mary Rutherford, MCF President and CEO. "Camp Mak-A-Dream is an incredible organization here in our state that provides much needed and greatly appreciated services to those affected by cancer. We have been fortunate enough to make some enormous grants like this one, but we have also made many, many smaller grants. Whether it's hundreds of thousands of dollars to complete a major project, or $500 to buy a new freezer for a local foodbank, supporting local nonprofit organizations is making a positive and significant impact on the lives of Montanans."
Grant Recommendations Don't Need to Wait  

The end of the year is our busiest time for sure. November and December are the months we process the most donations and planned gifts, the giving spirit abounds and many donors also want to ensure their donation will make it in time for the year's taxes. It's also the time of year we receive the majority of our grant recommendations. There's no need to wait on those though! You can make your recommendation in September or October if you like, which helps ensure it's processed efficiently. It also means those worthy nonprofits will receive your generosity sooner. If you have questions or concerns about grants or the grant recommendation process, just contact MCF Program Director Cathy Cooney.

10 Questions for the Board - Tawnya Rupe  
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 spent part of my childhood in Wapiti, WY and the other in Billings. 

2. What's your "real" job outside the foundation?
I am the Mountain Sky Guest Ranch Fund Director at the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. I also coordinate the Marketing and Sales for the Lazy SR Ranch.

3. What's your favorite hobby/what do you do with your free time? 
Spending time with my husband and nieces on the ranch riding horseback. 
MCF board member Tawnya Rupe
4. If you had to choose a different profession, what would it be and why?
In my current role, it is so diverse I am consistently meeting passionate people and learning about innovative programs in response to emerging needs and opportunities. I feel so fortunate and really can't imagine doing anything else.

5. What's something not very many people know about you?
I was in the animal health field prior to philanthropy.

6. What are three things you can't live without?
My family, friends and Montana mountains.

7. How did you first get involved in the nonprofit sector?
When I accepted my current position with the AMB Foundation.

8. If there was one thing you wanted people to know about MCF, what would it be?
MCF is a valuable asset that creatively fosters a culture of community leadership and giving, helping Montana communities flourish.

9. What's your favorite place in Montana?
The community where I live, Wilsall. 

10. What's your favorite thing about Montana/Montanans?
The genuine western hospitality and heritage.
Generosity at Work
July saw 117 grants representing more than $260,000 reinvested in Montana! What an amazing month of generosity to benefit the nonprofit organizations that are so vital to our communities. Thank you to the donors who make this giving possible and to all the nonprofit recipients for the wonderful work you do! 

If you're interested in finding out more about how you can help by investing in Montana's future, visit the GIVING section of our website.

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