November 2015

From Mary's Desk
Gratitude. Partnerships. Resources.

This week, we pause to reflect on the many blessings we enjoy. At MCF, we are grateful for the multitude of partners who have entrusted us with their hard-earned resources to ensure their philanthropic intentions are honored forever. We take that responsibility to heart, making sure we put in place the practices necessary to honor donor intent. We've partnered with organizations in more than 92 Montana communities to ensure the way of life there is honored in a way that matters most to the people who live there.

One particular partnership is on my mind this month: the partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Anaconda Economic Development Corporation, MSU Extension and MCF. For the past three years, we have partnered to strengthen local community foundations by creating a stronger connection between community foundations and county extension agents. The effort has resulted in twenty-seven MSU Extension agents receiving training on how to support philanthropy through local community foundation development. Some of these agents are serving on the boards of their local community foundation or have been instrumental in starting new community foundations. The program has also provided training to forty-nine community foundations across the state on topics that range from grantmaking to board governance, and planned giving to increase their ability to capture some of the tremendous intergenerational transfer of wealth occurring in Montana right now.
Over the past year, I've visited with many local community foundations to learn how MCF might best serve them. They've consistently shared with me that they look to MCF to be a resource for technical information and one that continues to strengthen the local community foundation network. In response, MCF has recruited Jenifer "Jen" Gursky to serve as our first full-time Local Community Foundation Program Officer. She will be the key liaison with local community foundations in Montana, providing them with technical expertise while identifying and connecting in-state and out-of-state funders with local community initiatives. She will also provide training for nonprofit board members and staff, lead efforts to convene regional and statewide meetings of local community foundations and assist with fundraising efforts among many other things.

Jen is one of our team providing technical resources to constituents. Technical resources matter. So do financial resources.

Many of the gifts entrusted to us are planned gifts. MCF is licensed with the Montana Insurance Commissioner to issue planned gifts. Caring Montana tax payers take advantage of the Montana Endowment Tax Credit which is one way to save on Montana income taxes while benefiting charitable organizations. MCF takes great care in making sure we can always honor the contractual commitments we make when issuing planned gifts. In fact, every year the MCF board analyzes our planned gift commitments and makes sure adequate resources are set aside to meet those contractual obligations, no matter what market conditions might be. It's this sound financial practice that gives planned gift donors a high-level of confidence when selecting a philanthropic partner.

We are honored to be your trusted partner and hold that trust sacred. We are grateful for your support. Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving.


Mary K. Rutherford, MA, CFRE
President & Chief Executive Officer
MCF Welcomes New Board Members
At the MCF Annual Board Meeting held this month in Great Falls, five new board members were elected to join the MCF board of directors: JoAnn Eder of Red Lodge; Greg Hanson of Georgetown Lake; Karen Latka of Helena: Mary Ann Phipps of Glendive; and Cami Skinner of Sidney.

The board meeting also saw the election of board officers. Mary Craigle will remain as Chair; Dale Woolhiser will act as Vice Chair, Brian Patrick will remain as Secretary; and Cynthia Woods will serve as Treasurer. 
Generosity at Work
It may have been Halloween in October, but as far as grants go, it was all treats and no tricks! Last month saw a total of 17 grants representing nearly $30,000. Thank you to our donors and nonprofit partners -- it is because of you we can ensure Montana's future remains bright.

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.
"Partner for Montana's Future" Program Delivers New Investment Advisory Options
Through Montana Community Foundation's new Partner for Montana's Future (PMF) program, we offer professional advisors ways to remain involved in clients' charitable wishes and maintain investment advisory capacity over the assets. If you have clients who are philanthropically minded, our PMF program is a great way for you to help ensure their charitable goals are met while retaining those assets in your investment portfolio.

The general guidelines for the PMF program include:
  • A $50,000 investment minimum per donor (newly established funds only)
  • Funds from $50,000 to $1,000,000 allow for investment in a prescreened selection of mutual funds
  • Funds greater than $1,000,000 allow for investment in a portfolio actively managed
    by the advisor within MCF Investment Policy guidelines
  • MCF management fee of 0.25%
Becoming a third-party manager in the PMF program is simple:
Download PMF documents and forms or contact MCF's CFO Emily Kovarik or Director of the Montana Office of Gift Planning Amy Sullivan for more information.
Mary Rutherford Joins Philanthropy Northwest Board of Directors  
Our very own President & CEO Mary Rutherford was recently honored by being nominated and elected for the Board of Directors of Philanthropy Northwest. Philanthropy Northwest is a network for philanthropists of all types who are committed to Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. MCF truly values how Philanthropy Northwest promotes, facilitates and drives collaborative action by community investors to build resilient, equitable and inclusive communities. Congratulations Mary!
Charitable Gift Annuities Q&A
With the end of the year approaching, now is the time to consider a planned gift to not only benefit a worthy Montana nonprofit, but also to take advantage of the amazing tax savings we enjoy here because of the Montana Endowment Tax Credit. One of the most common and effective planned gifts we help donors with here at MCF is charitable gift annuities. If you would like to make a donation to MCF or another charity of your choice and are interested in supplementing your income during retirement, a charitable gift annuity may be a great option for you.
Q. What is a charitable gift annuity?

A. It's a contract with MCF in which:
  • You agree to make an irrevocable donation to the charitable beneficiary of your choice.
  • We agree to make fixed payments to you each year for your lifetime. 
  • The portion of your gift that remains at your death helps support the mission of the charity you designated.
Q. What are the benefits?

A. It's a gift that:
  • Enables you to meet your charitable goals.
  • Provides you with tax-favored lifetime payments.
  • Offers immediate income tax savings (when you itemize).
  • If made to a qualified, permanent endowment of a Montana charity, you can take advantage of the Montana Endowment Tax Credit which offers you a credit of 40% of a qualifying planned gift's federal charitable deduction, up to a maximum of $10,000, per year, per individual.
If you are retired and depend on stock dividends for income, consider funding a gift annuity with those stocks. That way, you'll still receive income from the assets and in many cases, in higher amounts. You can also avoid capital gains tax if the annuity is funded with appreciated stock.
Q. What payments can I expect?

A. The rate of payment is determined by the ages of those receiving payments at the time of the contribution -- the older the recipients, the higher the rate. Payment rates are locked in for the duration of the gift annuity. 

*This information is not intended as legal advice. For legal advice, please consult an attorney. 
Getting Social in Great Falls
At our Annual Board Meeting November 13, this time in Great Falls, we had another wonderful social event the evening before. Thank you to everyone who joined us and to the board for making the trip, your guidance and dedication! A special thanks to the C.M. Russell Museum for providing an outstanding venue and being such a gracious host!
10 Questions for the Staff - Jenny Santy  
Who are the people that spend their days working for Montana's future? Let's find out!
1. Where are you from originally?
I grew up in Wisner, Nebraska, a small town in the north-east corner known primarily for its feedlots.

2. What's your position at MCF and what do you do?
I work as the Senior Accountant. I help to ensure that account balances get updated, bills get paid and donations processed.

3. What's your favorite hobby/what do you do with your free time? 
I enjoy working with my hands and making things for other people. I usually spend my evenings crocheting or knitting something for people I love.
Senior Accountant Jenny Santy
4. If you had to choose a different profession, what would it be and why?
I would be a baker. I love the smell of fresh baked goods.

5. What's something not very many people know about you?
I spend every Sunday at my parent's house. I like to make dinner for my mom because she works so hard during the week and it gives her a chance to come home to a warm cooked meal made with love.

6. What are three things you can't live without?
Books, music and my husband.

7. How did you first get involved in the nonprofit sector?
Montana Community Foundation is my first real look at the nonprofit sector. I wanted a job where I felt like I would make a difference. MCF was the perfect fit.

8. If there was one thing you wanted people to know about MCF, what would it be?
We care -- about the work and each other.

9. What's your favorite place in Montana?
Grizzly Gulch outside of Helena. 

10. What's your favorite thing about Montana/Montanans?
I love the mountains. Everywhere I go in Helena, I can find a place to hit the trails.
Thank you Missoula!
A great big thank you to all the wonderful folks who came out to the open house at our new Missoula office located at 110 W Front Street! We're incredibly excited to have another physical location and hope you'll stop by to take advantage of the Montana Office of Gift Planning services or just to say hello! 

Read more about our new office in a great article from the Missoulian.

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