Want to Have Fun While Helping Missoula?

Missoula Gives Jen & Joanne

We’re looking for folks to bring their best ideas to help make Missoula Gives 2018 the most successful community-wide fundraiser yet. The Missoula Gives Task Force is for creative thinkers and big dreamers–folks who can get things done and have a great time in the process! Last year Missoula Gives raised more than $300,000 for 155 nonprofits. Let’s make next year even more successful! Click here to contact Nikki Robb for more information on joining the Missoula Gives Task Force.

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What a Nebraska Town Can Teach Us About Giving


Shickley Community Foundation Fund supports the preschool program by providing funding for playground equipment and other needs. Photo credit: Bobbi and Steve Olson

Shickley, Nebraska, isn’t so very different from Missoula. The people living there have big ideas, big hearts, and big dreams for their future. They invest their time and money in parks, the school, a wellness center, and more. All of these amenities are made possible largely through an unrestricted endowment put into place by the Shickley Community Foundation. With a population of only 341 people, the fund started small. Fifteen years later, it holds nearly $2 million in endowed assets, and its granting capacity has reached

$60,000 and will only grow.

Shickley is an inspiration—a model of what can be accomplished when community members come together to give back to the place they love. A town of 341 residents with an endowment of nearly $2 million! Imagine what we, a community of 116,000, could do?

The Missoula Community Foundation is starting a special campaign to build an endowment for our community, one that will help meet the needs of our town as we grow. In the next couple weeks we will send out information about how you can support the Missoula Forever Fund, our community’s endowment.

Just like Shickley, we have big ideas, big hearts, and big dreams for our future. Together we can make those dreams come true! Stay tuned to learn how.

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Congratulations to our 2017 Scholarship Winners

These 2017 graduates will embark on their first semester of college at a post-secondary school somewhere in Montana. Congrats to this year’s winners, we wish you the best of luck!

Clockwise: Molly MacDonald (Sentinel H.S.), Darian Rehder (Big Sky H.S.), Kayla Sawyer (Willard H.S.) and Trevor Finney (Frenchtown H.S.)


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Community Donations Surpass $300,000 Missoula Gives Goal!

Community Donations Surpass $300,000 Missoula Gives Goal
Fundraising Drive to Continue until End of May

MISSOULA, MT — 2,400 Missoulians responded with generosity to calls from local nonprofits to raise funds for projects that benefit their community. Missoula Gives, the 24-hour in-person and online fundraiser organized by the Missoula Community Foundation, generated $288,000 during the May 4-5 event, falling just short of the fundraising goal. But Missoulians and charities rallied over the past week to help bridge the gap, bringing the new total to $308,000. Donations will continue to be collected through the end of May on www.MissoulaGives.org.

“Our community’s kindness has truly been amazing, said Meredith Printz, executive director of the Missoula Community Foundation. “This is the most successful Missoula Gives to date, and it shows how powerful Missoulians are when they join together to support the organizations that make our town unique.”

Missoula donors gave between $5 to $34,000 to benefit 155 organizations with a range of missions, including protecting open space and local agriculture, supporting survivors of domestic violence, aiding refugees, incorporating arts in schools and assisting veterans.

Awards: (Full list of winners may be found on www.MissoulaGives.org/prizes)
Most Funds Raised: Poverello Center – $20,327.32

Most Donors: Buffalo Field Campaign – 183

Greatest Increase in Donations from Last Year: Soft Landing Missoula

Greatest Number of Donors from New Participant: Harriet Anderson Memorial Foundation

Missoula Gives has raised more than $920,000 since it began in 2014. The statewide MT Gives campaign raised more than $1.2 million from 7975 donors to benefit 609 organizations. This year’s premier sponsor was the Missoula Federal Credit Union. Good Food Store, Community Medical Center, KPAX, Missoula Broadcasting Company and Karl Tyler Chevrolet provided additional support.

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You Know Missoula, You Love Missoula- Help Us Plan for the Future

With your guidance, we are developing a three-year strategic plan for how best to serve the needs of our growing community. Your input will help determine our role in promoting Missoula’s vitality and wellbeing. As a show of appreciation for completing this brief survey, we will offer $200 to one lucky participant’s favorite nonprofit. The survey will close on May 12; we hope to hear from you before then!  Click here to participate >>

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Nonprofits- Missoula Gives Registration Now Open

MG+MCF_Horizontal-byMissoula Gives Registration Now Open!
The name has changed but the idea is the same. On May 4th and 5th from 6pm-6pm, the community will come together to give back to the nonprofits that help make Missoula a wonderful place to live. Formerly Give Local Missoula, Missoula Gives is a powerful and growing 24-hour, online and in-person giving event organized by the Missoula Community Foundation (MissoulaCF) to grow philanthropy in the Missoula area by connecting donors to the nonprofits that make our town so special. From January 18-April 7th, nonprofits can sign up to participate in Missoula Gives. Typically, more than 130 nonprofits participate each year. Our community has given more than $640,000 to local nonprofits over the first three years of the program. And with a minimum donation of $10, anyone can be a philanthropist!

Click here to visit the Missoula Gives website>>

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Elf Project- Nominate Your Favorite Nonprofit to Win Cash & Goodies!

It’s the perfect season to give back to your favorite local nonprofits who work so hard all year to make our community a better place. Answer three simple questions to nominate one to win some holiday cash and a goodie basket. We will be accepting nominations through December 12th. Then on December 16th, Missoula Community Foundation staff and board members will don elf hats and will hand-deliver the baskets and checks to the worthy organizations.

Thank you for joining in the fun!

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YOU Can Start a Ripple of Philanthropy-Find out How!

We’re often dreaming up fun ways to help nonprofit organizations raise money. Here’s one we recently hatched: A Ripple Rapple.

Named for the Ripple Effect, the Ripple Rapple is akin to a raffle, except instead of benefiting just one organization, it supports five. Those “p”s aren’t just for show, they stand for “promoting philanthropy,” which is what the Missoula Community Foundation is all about.

We’re giving away 40% of all Ripple Rapple proceeds. By purchasing a ticket, you are giving your favorite  local organization a chance to win 10% of funds raised. How much that ends up being is up to all of us.

Click on the infographic below to purchase a ticket. Thank you for creating a a ripple of philanthropy!



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Decorate a Lantern and walk in the Festival of the Dead Parade with us.

Celebrate Missoula’s Festival of the Dead by carrying a lantern that memorializes a loved one or honors a Missoula non-profit organization. Community members are invited to decorate a lantern at this family-friendly and FREE event. The Missoula Community Foundation will provide lanterns and the art supplies to decorate them. Feel free to bring photos and other mementos to attach to your lantern. Carrying a lantern in the parade provides Missoulians a medium to express their own feelings about life and death, and celebrate the beauty of leaving a legacy.

We will be holding 2 Lantern Making Workshops this year. So join us and walk with the Missoula Community Foundation in the Festival of the Dead Parade.

The events are hosted by the Zootown Arts Community Center, 235 N 1st Street West.

When: October 22nd, 2016 – 2:00-4:00pm

November 2nd, 2016 – 2:00-5:00pm (before the parade)

More information: To RSVP, contact Nikki Robb at 406-926-2846 or visit the Missoula Festival of the Dead Facebook page.



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Meet the Newest Investors in Your Community: Martin and Kathy McAllister

img_6321The newest investors in our community, Martin and Kathy McAllister, moved to Missoula in 1996 from Duluth, Minnesota, and immediately set to work making a positive impact. Kathy served as the Deputy Regional Forester for the Northern Region for the U.S. Forest Service until her retirement in 2008, and Martin runs a Missoula-based firm that works to bust archaeological looters and train law enforcement officials and archeologists on how to protect cultural sites—basically the “C.S.I.” of archaeological crimes.

Martin and Kathy are also active members of the community, and recently dedicated some of their estate funds to three of their favorite organizations: Five Valleys Land Trust, YWCA Missoula, and the Missoula Community Foundation. They did so through a unique tax credit incentive aimed at encouraging individuals, businesses, and organizations to make lasting investments in their communities by giving to Montana endowments.

What makes you proud to be a Missoulian?

Kathy: All of the interest in open space, outdoor recreation, making land accessible for anybody who wants to be on it and use it, and the level of commitment the community has to community well being. And it’s so dog friendly! This is the longest we’ve ever lived any place. We have stronger roots here than any place else.

Martin: I just love everything about Missoula. I love its size, I love the whole community. I suppose there are times during the winter months when I wish it were warmer and a little less grey.

What does it mean to you to leave a legacy for your community?

Martin: Being an archeologist, I’m all about legacies. To me it means that you’re making a contribution to seeing the things that you believe in go on beyond your lifetime.

Kathy: Besides the Community Foundation, the YWCA and Five Valleys Land Trust are just so important from our perspective about what they do for the community in terms of both the environment and women and children’s issues and needs. When you talk to Dale [Woolhiser, founding board member of the Missoula Community Foundation] about community foundations, it’s just an amazing resource. To be part of that is rewarding.

Martin: A lot of people would probably sit around and say that’s something that’d be nice to do, but I don’t want to make the effort to do it. I don’t want to take the time, do all the research, and so on. The Missoula Community Foundation just makes it so easy to do it. I think that’s very important.

How has designating part of your estate to benefit Missoula changed you?

Martin: It makes you feel good; you realize that instead of leaving [your estate] to a family member, which isn’t going to have any kind of beneficial effect in the larger perspective, you’re going to do something good for the community.

Kathy: Martin is still working. I worked for the Forest Service for almost 35 years. To think that you didn’t work that hard just to have material things in your life, that there are resources available to you to make something happen for other people—that’s good. I don’t feel like we’re going to get a Nobel Peace Prize or the door to heaven will be immediately open to us. But it’s good.

With so many great organizations to support, why did you choose to support the Missoula Community Foundation?

Kathy: The Missoula Community Foundation was just this nice vehicle to make a lot of this stuff happen; why wouldn’t we want to make sure that the Community Foundation got some resources into perpetuity, too, so that they could keep going?

Martin: The Community Foundation makes it all happen, so obviously you have to think about them as well as these other causes that you have. And we really like Meredith and we really like Dale.

What would you say to someone considering making an estate gift through the Montana Charitable Endowment Tax Credit?

Kathy and Martin (at the same time): Do it.

Kathy: Do it if you have the resources and can make that kind of a gift. I don’t know how long it’s going to be there, but for right now, it’s a great tax advantage. Just the idea that you’ve got resources headed someplace, where they can benefit the community after you’re gone, is a good thing.

Martin: We made the estate gift because we love Missoula, but the tax advantage was astounding this year. It was impressive.

What do you think people should know about the Missoula Community Foundation?

Martin: A lot of people don’t want to talk about estate planning because you have to acknowledge your own mortality. As Amy [Sullivan, director of the Montana Office of Planned Giving] has pointed out: If you don’t have a will, the state of Montana will be happy to distribute your assets for you, but do you really want that to happen? I think that’s what the Missoula Community Foundation does, it’s this vehicle that educates people about planned giving and makes it real easy for them to do it.

At the Missoula Community Foundation, we believe that everyone can be a philanthropist regardless of their financial resources. Do you see yourselves as philanthropists?

Martin: That’s a loaded word in my mind. Philanthropy. I’m not a Rockefeller or something like that. But if you probably looked up the definition of that word, it would be helping other people without any expectation that you would get anything in return. That’s what philanthropy is in my mind. So, yes, I think everybody can be a philanthropist, and I think we are. We could take that money and squander it throughout the course of our lifetime or leave it to our sisters and let them squander it. And we’ve chosen not to.

Kathy: It’s probably something that we should have been doing 30 years ago. You go through your life when you’re younger thinking: I need to have this money. And here we are now in our 60s, where financially we are in a position to do something with our money besides spending it on ourselves.

From the perspective of sitting on the board of Five Valleys Land Trust: Every dollar helps. If you can give an organization $25, that’s money that they didn’t have that they can put to good work. You don’t have to have thousands of dollars to support the organizations that are important to you. You just have to be willing to support them. Maybe it’s not even money. Maybe it’s time. Maybe you volunteer to help with the girls program at Y or pick up trash for Five Valleys. There’s lots to do.

Any last words?

Martin: You really need to plan. You need to think about the long-term and what you want to have happen to your resources after you’re gone. That’s what the Missoula Community Foundation does.

Kathy: Being on the board of the Five Valleys Land Trust I know how hard that organization works to garner donor support and complete projects that make western Montana the special place it is…it’s really important work and its hard work. We would be so much poorer, as a Missoula society, if these organizations weren’t out there doing what they do. We are pleased to be able to contribute towards their successful futures.

Consider dedicating part of your estate to the Missoula Community Foundation to ensure your community remains a vibrant place to live for future generations. To find out how you can take advantage of the Montana Charitable Endowment Tax Credit, contact Meredith Printz at meredith@missoulacommunityfoundation.org or 406-926-2846.

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