March 2016

From Mary's Desk
When it comes to charitable giving, the United States ranks second overall in the  2015 World Giving Index and in the top 10 for two of the three charitable-giving behaviors tracked by the index. Digging deeper, Montana ranks 15th in WalletHub's 2015's Most and Least Charitable States study. In this study, Montana ranked fourth among states with the highest percentage of population who have donated time. Montana was also identified as one of the poorest (43rd) yet most charitable states. And finally, Montana ranked second in highest number of charities per capita.

So what do the numbers really translate to? One takeaway is certainly that despite being a state with very low wealth, we are still incredibly generous with our time and money. Another takeaway is that we have a very high ratio of nonprofit organizations compared to our population. Based on data from the Montana Nonprofit Association's 2015 Sector Report Snapshot, there are more than 6,000 nonprofit organizations in the state employing more than 46,000 people with a gross economic output of $6.8 billion.
The nonprofit sector is an incredibly important one to our state - not just from an economic perspective, but also from a societal perspective. Nonprofits fill the gaps between the public and private sectors, gaps which are numerous and wide especially in rural Montana. Below you'll find a story about the food bank in Blaine County that powerfully illustrates this point.

Where does the Montana Community Foundation fit into all of this? As you've heard me say, we think of ourselves as the go-to place for philanthropy. Whether you're a donor trying to find the most effective way your dollars can be put to use, or a nonprofit organization seeking to establish a stable income through an endowment and planned gifts to support the vital work you're doing, we can help. We're honored to be your partner in philanthropy and thank you for entrusting us with your generosity in service to Montana.


Mary K. Rutherford, MA, CFRE
President & Chief Executive Officer
Generosity at Work
At just under $24,000 for 11 grants, February was another great month of giving here at MCF.  

While the big grants often garner most of the attention, they are few and far between and certainly no more important than the hundreds of smaller grants made each year. 

One such grant we know will make a huge impact on a Montana community went to the Chinook Food Pantry in the amount of $3,000. Approximately 25 percent of the population in Blaine County receives assistance from the Food Pantry, showing just how vital funding is for the organization and community. The Food Pantry was one of three organizations including Pets are Worth Saving (PAWS) and a program to help control noxious weeds in the area, receiving competitive grants from the Blaine County Community Foundation Fund, a fund originally established by Warren Ross. Ross was a rancher from Blaine County and former MCF board member who left an incredible legacy to benefit Blaine County forever. Read more about this story in the Blaine County Journal News-Opinion. 

You too can help us put generosity to work. If you're interested in finding out more about establishing a fund or supporting an existing fund, visit the Giving section of our website.
Don't miss out nonprofits!
The deadline for nonprofits to register for MTGives is March 30th, which is quickly approaching. Last year the effort raised more than $640,000 in just 24-hours with more than 6,800 donations benefiting over 370 nonprofits. Beyond donations, this is an incredible opportunity to expand your base of donors and gain experience in online giving days, one of the fastest growing forms of fundraising.

Visit the MTGives website to learn more and register today!
Leaving Retirement Assets - Loved Ones or Charity?
While IRAs are excellent vehicles for accumulating assets for your use during retirement, to many people's surprise, they are a far less attractive way to pass an inheritance to loved ones. For the philanthropically-minded, a better and easier option is to leave an IRA to a charitable organization.
The Tax Costs of IRAs
When you name anyone other than your spouse as beneficiary of your IRA, it will be exposed to heavy taxation, leaving less for your heirs than you had hoped. The income tax bill can take as much as 39.6 percent, and that percentage can be even higher if your estate is subject to estate taxes.
A Charitable Solution
If you've thought about contributing to MCF or one of our many funds benefiting Montana, consider giving IRA assets and giving other assets that are not as heavily taxed to family members. As a nonprofit organization, we are tax-exempt, so we can use 100 percent of your IRA. To get this process started:
  1. Decide what percentage (1-100) you would like to give.
  2. Contact your IRA administrator for a change-of-beneficiary form.
  3. Name MCF and the benefiting fund, as well as the gift percentage on the form.
  4. Return the form to your IRA administrator.
  5. Let us know about your plans so we can thank you! (We will also honor your preference for anonymity).  
You should also consider a transfer during your lifetime through the IRA Charitable RolloverHere'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.
To learn more about the IRA Charitable Rollover, join us for a webinar on the topic Tuesday, April 5th at 2 p.m. 

If you have any questions about helping ensure Montana's future through your IRA, please visit our website. And feel free to contact Amy Sullivan, Director of the Montana Office of Gift Planning at (406) 541-7407 or amy@mtcf.org or Nick Dietzen, Planned Giving Officer at (406) 443-8313 or nick@mtcf.org.

*This information is not intended as legal advice. For legal advice, please consult an attorney. 
PowerHouse Montana, an initiative of the Women's Foundation of Montana, is now hosting #MentorMondayMT! #MentorMondayMT is a monthly event on the fourth Monday of every month and will be a place for women to network and find mentors. In February, there were about 60 participants in Billings, Bozeman and Missoula. Each gathering is unique to its community, but common in its goal of supporting women in the workplace, helping them to find like-minded women and connecting women to mentors and resources. The next #MentorMondayMT events are happening in Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena and Missoula on March 28. Questions? Call Kelsey Mahoney at 406-541-7409 or visit www.powerhousemt.org.
10 Questions for the Staff - Emma Reilly
Who are the people that spend their days working for Montana's future? Let's find out!
1. Where are you from originally?
I've lived mostly in Salt Lake County Utah, but I was born in Louisiana and my parents are from New York. I've spent seven years in Montana so far and I love it!

2. What's your position at MCF and what do you do?
My position at MCF is Database Manager and Development Associate. I essentially get to track/record constituent information in our database that we use to better manage our working relationships with individuals and organizations. I also use the database to produce reports/ lists in order to help other staff members with their projects.
Database Manager & Development Associate
Emma Reilly
3. What's your favorite hobby/what do you do with your free time?
This is a tough question. I love cooking, painting, hiking and getting together with friends. I tend to invite friends over for dinner a couple of times a month or instigate some other hang out.

4. If you had to choose a different profession, what would it be and why?
I would be an art outreach program director. I believe that sharing art with people is important. It is something all humans do and something we can all find a way to relate to even if it's in an abstract way. Art is special to me and I want to share my love for it however I can.

5. What's something not very many people know about you?
I love listening to songs I've never heard before. It's such a good feeling to hear a new song and enjoy it.

6. What are three things you can't live without?
Someone to talk to, great scenery and new experiences. 

7. How did you first get involved in the nonprofit sector?
I first became involved with nonprofits when I began volunteering at the Holter Museum as a freshman at Carroll College. I have been employed by the Myrna Loy, Holter Museum and Helena Symphony. I realized that in order to be as useful as possible to an art organization, I should really learn more about the technical side of nonprofit work. That's why I joined MCF upon graduating from Carroll College.

8. If there was one thing you wanted people to know about MCF, what would it be?
MCF empowers individuals and organizations to improve the future or the present in a way that preserves and amplifies their own passions.

9. What's your favorite place in Montana?
Anywhere on the top of a mountain is special to me. I also really like driving through Montana, I've had some amazing times looking out at the horizon on a road trip. 

10. What's your favorite thing about Montana/Montanans?
I love how much Montanans love Montana, and I love Montana for its natural beauty and simplicity. 
MCF Webinars
If you haven't yet, be sure to check out the webinars page on our website. Here you can find a collection of educational and informative webinars on everything from general and investment updates, to MTGives, the Montana Endowment Tax Credit and much more.

Each webinar is recorded as an easy-to-view YouTube video you can watch on your computer or mobile device.

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www.mtcf.org  |  (406) 443-8313