January 2016

From Mary's Desk
Last month was an important and busy one for MCF and the philanthropic world at large. Congress passed legislation with significant impact on philanthropy in the United States, in Montana and in our communities. The Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 contained provisions formerly found in the America Gives More Act. These provisions include making the IRA charitable rollover permanent, and offering enhanced deductions for the donation of food inventory and land conservation easements. Many nonprofits and charitably-minded individuals came together in supporting these initiatives and after a long battle, our efforts have finally paid off. Thank you to Senator Tester, Senator Daines and Representative Zinke for supporting this legislation and in turn, for supporting philanthropy in Montana.

Year-end is also the busiest time for us here at MCF, but we're happy to report the trust donors have placed in us resulted in wonderful things for Montana. In 2015, we were entrusted with approximately $5.6 million in contributions and 125 new funds and planned gifts were established. Donors and nonprofit organizations are not only partnering with us because we are dedicated to providing the highest levels of service and professionalism, but also because they understand we can meet the financial obligations we have committed to. In the case of things like annuity payments for planned gifts, donors have confidence those payments will be made regardless of market fluctuations or economic downturns. They also know we are unwavering in our commitment to honor and uphold donor intent. Whether it is grantmaking, investment management, planned giving, or any of the many other areas of philanthropic services, we believe there is no better partner than MCF.

You continue to support us in that belief. Thank you for your faith in us, your generosity and your partnership.


Mary K. Rutherford, MA, CFRE
President & Chief Executive Officer
Time to Gear Up for MTGives!
Involve your community in MTGives - a powerful online giving day. As part of the Give Local America program, your community can join a national platform focused on local philanthropy. Last year the Give Local effort in Montana yielded tremendous results - more than $640,000 for Montana nonprofits. This year, the program is statewide and has an ambitious goal of $1 million for Montana communities.

Establish or become a Community Convener. A Community Convener is a community organization, either a local community foundation or a nonprofit, that facilitates a MTGives day in their community. Community Conveners will organize and facilitate local nonprofits, leveraging the online giving platform to recruit Montanans philanthropic neighbors. They will also serve as the community liaison to the Montana Community Foundation. Community steering committees are facilitated by Community Conveners and define the project's scope and goals. MTGives is a perfect opportunity for local community foundations to promote and create local philanthropy and solidify their position as community leaders.

The big day is in May which is coming up soon, but there's still plenty of time to get your community involved. Discover how you can participate!

The Montana Community Foundation is excited to offer this program to all Montana communities and has already created toolkits and training materials to support your community's success. Find out if MTGives is right for your community by clicking here or contacting Jenifer Gursky today!
Please Keep Us Updated
We're in the midst of annual distributions, which is the single largest disbursement of grant funds we make each year. The annual distribution encompasses those grantees who receive a single, designated payment once each year...and there are a TON! There's nothing we like better than granting out funds to worthy nonprofits in support of philanthropy in Montana. But if we don't have the proper bank account information on file, payments are delayed while we try and track down updated information. Please be sure to always keep us updated with your latest information. And while account information is particularly important at this time of year, this is also a great reminder to everyone to keep us updated with your latest address, phone number, email, and also any changes to fund representatives, executive directors, etc. Please help us help you!
It's Time to Apply!  
The 2016-17 scholarship season is now open and MCF is offering more than 50 academic scholarships. With more than $365,000 awarded last year and scholarships with a wide variety of qualifications, it's definitely worth your time to apply or pass along this information to someone who may be interested. The deadline for most applications is March 18, so don't delay! Apply Online
For questions or more detailed information about our scholarship program, contact Grants & Scholarships Program Officer Jenny Lou Stark at (406) 443-8313 or jstark@mtcf.org

Learn more about establishing a scholarship fund in support of our students and Montana's future.
Generosity at Work
Naomi's "wish art" of her singing with Carrie Underwood
December was a truly spectacular month of giving. More than 60 grants were made totaling an incredible $524,000+! One of those grants from an anonymous donor was in support of a wonderful organization - Make-A-Wish Montana.

Make-A-Wish Montana is a nonprofit granting wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. They serve all 56 counties in Montana and granted their first wish in 1987. 

One such recent wish was Naomi's from Gallatin County who has a life-threatening blood disorder. Naomi told her Make-A-Wish volunteers that her favorite country music superstar is Carrie Underwood and her wish was to sing with her. Namoi told them Carrie's music makes her feel inspired, and when she doesn't feel good, she listens to Carrie and her music makes her want to sing and dance. Her wish came true at the Minnesota State Fair where she and Carrie sang "Just A Dream" together before the concert and she even got a shout-out from Carrie during the show to "another little singer that I met today." 

Our donors are making an incredible impact on Montanans like Naomi each day. Thank you for making wishes come true!

If you're interested in finding out more about establishing a fund or supporting an existing fund, visit the Giving section of our website.
IRA Charitable Rollover Made Permanent
Great news for donors and nonprofits! As part of the PATH Act of 2015, congress permanently extended the IRA charitable rollover. 

Here's a recap of the IRA charitable rollover rules. You can make a direct transfer if:

1. You are age 70 or older on the day of the gift.

2. You transfer up to $100,000 directly from your IRA to one or more qualified charities. This opportunity applies only to IRAs and not to other types of retirement plans.

3. You pay no income tax on the gift. The transfer generates neither taxable income nor a tax deduction, so you benefit even if you do not itemize your tax deductions.

4. The gift can satisfy all or part of the required minimum distribution for the year.

5. The gift may not be used to fund a gift annuity, charitable remainder trust, donor advised fund or private foundation.

6. You do not receive any goods or services in return for the rollover gift in order to qualify for tax-free treatment.

8. The new legislation does not have an expiration date. 

If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact us! 

*This information is not intended as legal advice. For legal advice, please consult an attorney. 
10 Questions for the Staff - Kelsey Mahoney  
Who are the people that spend their days working for Montana's future? Let's find out!
1. Where are you from originally?
Kingston, New York

2. What's your position at MCF and what do you do?
I am an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Women's Foundation. I am specifically working on expanding the PowerHouse MT initiative and raising awareness around the state about the status of women in Montana.

3. What's your favorite hobby/what do you do with your free time? 
I've been reading a lot. I am currently in the middle of "Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg and just ordered a book about social entrepreneurship.
AmeriCorps Vista Kelsey Mahoney
4. If you had to choose a different profession, what would it be and why?
I have no clue! I graduated with my B.S. in Women and Gender Studies last December and am currently looking into career options and graduate schools. Since I've been here, I've said I wanted to be an elementary school teacher, be a high school history teacher, work in nonprofit management, and now I am looking into social entrepreneurship. It changes monthly.

5. What's something not very many people know about you?
I am the youngest of four, and am the first to move out of New York State!

6. What are three things you can't live without?
My cats, named Maya Angelou and River. I made Maya drive across the country with me and get weekly updates about River who is staying with a friend in New York. My support system is really important for me, especially my parents, siblings, and boyfriend. I also love books. I am constantly yearning for more knowledge and for my views to be challenged and reaffirmed.

7. How did you first get involved in the nonprofit sector?
I grew up with parents who never said no to helping people, so they have really been my inspiration. Before moving out to Montana, I did an internship with the programming team with Girl Scouts of Western New York and worked as a counselor at Willow Domestic Violence Center, as well as fostered cats through an organization called Keller's Kats. I've always been heavily involved in volunteer work, so it made sense.

8. If there was one thing you wanted people to know about MCF, what would it be?
The MCF team is so supportive and welcoming!

9. What's your favorite place in Montana?
Garnet Ghost Town! I am a total history buff and the views as you're driving to get there are amazing!

10. What's your favorite thing about Montana/Montanans?
The slower pace; it has been difficult for me to get used to, but it is nice to take my time on projects rather than rush through everything.

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