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 or 406-926-2846.

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Your Legacy: Family, Church and Charity

Are there people and organizations in your life that you care about and want to help sustain financially? If there are people or causes you care about, we can help you uncover ways to enrich their futures and unleash your generosity.

Join us for this complimentary presentation hosted by the Missoula Community Foundation with guest speakers Mike Darrington of Thrivent Financial and Amy Sullivan of the Montana Community Foundation, and learn how to ensure your legacy lives on.

To RSVP, contact Nikki Robb at or call (406) 926-2846

WHEN:        Wednesday, October 12th  –  5:30-7:30PM

WHERE:      City Life Community Center  –  1515 Fairview Ave. –  Missoula, MT

COST:          Free


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Human Capital Campaign Underway-Donate Now!

Human capital is Missoula’s greatest asset, yet it’s one that’s easy to take for granted.

The organizations that serve food to the hungry, care for homeless animals, and advocate for protection of our public lands are all run by people. People who are intelligent, passionate, and innovative.

Some organizations hold capital campaigns to raise money to buy a building or an important piece of equipment. At the Missoula Community Foundation, we are holding a Human Capital Campaign to support a critical position in our organization.

This fall, our program associate Caroline Lauer will begin a master’s program at Harvard University. Also in September, the anonymous donor who generously funded Caroline’s position for the past year will end her monthly contributions.

Caroline has played an important role in coordinating successful community events like Give Local Missoula and the Elf Project that benefit the strong network of nonprofits in our town. She provided critical program coordination and outreach assistance, and also supported a new signature program, Climate Smart Missoula.

We will miss Caroline, but now is the time to fund her replacement. With your help we can raise enough to fund the Education & Outreach* and Program Coordination* functions of the position for one year.

We hope you will help us reach our Human Capital Campaign goal of $19,000, or 60% of the position’s salary, with a monthly gift of $10, $25, or a financial level you can afford.

It’s easy to give monthly, simply visit the donate page on our website

As a monthly donor, your dollars provide a steady source of income we can count on, in good times and lean ones. It’s also helpful for your cash flow, allowing you to make a generous gift more comfortably.

The Missoula community is filled with people who care about making positive change in the world. With your backing of our Human Capital Campaign, we can do an even better job helping folks give back to the community we all love.

Thank you in advance for your support,

Meredith Printz, Executive Director

Missoula Community Foundation

 P.S. Your monthly donation to our Human Capital Campaign is tax-deductible. Please give as generously as you are able. Thanks!


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Meet Nikki Robb-New Program Associate

We’re pleased to introduce you to our newest staff member, Program Associate Nikki Robb. Nikki will support our fundraising, outreach, and marketing efforts.

Q: What brought you to Missoula?

A: I am actually from Missoula. Well, my parents moved me here in the 4th grade. I stayed here until age 23 when I decided to leave town to finish college. I was gone from Montana for about 10 years.

Q: What are your favorite things about the city?

A: Favorite things about Missoula, huh, too many to count. But some of my favorite things here are the mountains, the rivers, and the music scene. Also, the people; Missoulians are outgoing, progressive, kind, giving, healthy and happy (for the most part). Its a blessing to be surrounded by such great people.

Q: How did you first learn about the Missoula Community Foundation?

A: I believe I first learned of the Missoula Community Foundation while working as a PR assistant here in Missoula. My first real introduction to the community foundation was during Give Local 2015. A friend and colleague of mine recommended I get involved with the Give Local Missoula marketing team.

Q: What are you most excited about working on in your new role at MissoulaCF?

A: Well, I am a big fan of Give Local. I love the massive community involvement. I’ve always enjoyed fundraising and fundraising for so many local non-profits all at the same time is just fun! My new role here at the community foundation is Program Associate. I am also looking forward to developing and growing our current programs and future programs to come.

Q: Describe your career background.

A: I went to school at California State University, Chico. I paid my way through college in the food and beverage industry, but while I was there I began fundraising for local non-profits. My degrees are in Recreation Administration; they are Special Events and Tourism as well as Hotel, Lodging and Management, with a minor in marketing. After graduation I took an internship in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. There I worked for Meegan Jones, event sustainability guru. We did event sustainability/green consulting and worked on an event sustainability measurement program. I lived there for over a year, working with Meegan and working large music festivals and conferences around the country. I worked many angles, from volunteer coordination, sustainability/green team, recycling manager, waste management, vendor coordinator, hospitality and more. After living overseas I decided it was time to return home to Montana. Upon my return I started working as an executive assistant. Once assimilated back into Montana life I wanted to get back into fundraising. I started working with local non-profits to throw their annual fundraisers, which led me to start my own event coordination and consulting company, NR Event Partners. I have been operating that company here in Missoula the last couple of years.

Q: If you could add one resource to the city, what would it be?

A: I would bring in more sustainable resource practices. Green practices are growing here, but have a long way to go. I am concerned with waste management. I would love to see better recycling programs here. Currently we can’t even sustainably recycle glass and many other wastes. Most of us that live in Missoula live here for the beautiful surroundings and easy access to nature, I wish it was easier for us all to take better care of this special town.

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Ripple Rapple Tickets on Sale Now!

Ripple Rapple Fundraiser
You’ve heard of the Ripple Effect, right? A situation in which one event causes a series of other events to happen. But have you heard of the Ripple Rapple? It’s a fundraiser in which one ticket purchase causes donations to many Missoula non-profits to happen!

That explains “ripple”, but what’s a “rapple”?
A rapple is like a raffle, but the “p”s are for “promoting philanthropy”.

Here’s how it works:
1. Buy one ticket for $25, or five for $100. 60% of the ticket cost supports the Missoula Community Foundation. The other 40% will be divided among up to four lucky local nonprofits.
2. Choose your favorite nonprofit to receive a portion of the Rapple prize money. The more people who select your favorite organization as their favorite, the more chances that nonprofit has to win.
3. Pat yourself on the back. You just started a ripple of philanthropy!
We”ll announce the winners at a fun and unique drawing. Stay tuned for more event details.

Purchase Your Rapple Ticket Now!


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Philanthropists with Focus on Northwest to Gather in Missoula for Conference

This September, Missoula will play host to Philanthropy Northwest’s annual conference and membership meeting. The event draws philanthropists committed to vibrant, equitable and inclusive communities in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

As a member of the conference planning committee, we have an incredible opportunity to showcase our community to more than 50 funders. We are organizing learning tours on local food and economic development, arts and education, and personal storytelling through the Tell Us Something program. We will feature conference highlights in our October newsletter, so stay tuned.

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Cuban Choir Brings Afro-Cuban Music to Montana

Cuban Choir Brings Afro-Cuban Music to Montana
Watch a video of the Cuban choir singing “Shenandoah” on the banks of the Missouri River.

Due to the commitment and enthusiasm of a small group of volunteers, a choir from Cuba recently performed in Great Falls, Florence, and Missoula, where they wowed audiences of the 2016 International Choral Festival.

The Montanans originally heard Cantores de Cienfuegos perform in Cuba and dreamed of bringing the vocal group to their home towns. Choir members subsist on a government subsidy equivalent of $20-$25 per month, so the enterprising volunteers approached us about providing a fiscal sponsorship to aid in fundraising efforts. Fiscal sponsorships are one of the ways the Missoula Community Foundation incubates innovative ideas and projects put forward by community members.

Florence resident and co-chair of the “Cuban Choir to Montana Project” Yvonne Gastineau Gritzner noted that hosting the Cantores de Cienfuegos not only allowed Montanans to get a taste of superb Afro-Cuban music but it “opened up possibilities for understanding and friendship among ordinary people from our two countries.”

The “Cuban Choir to Montana Project” successfully raised more than half of their targeted goal but still has more expenses to cover. Please consider donating to this unique and special project. You may select “Cuban Choir to MT” from the dropdown menu on our donation page.

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Celebrate Give Local on May 25

We have a lot to be thankful for: your patience and persistence, the dedication of our local nonprofits, and despite technical difficulties, raising $200,000 and counting! Help us celebrate our success from Give Local Missoula on May 25, come rain or shine!


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Meet the 2016 Scholarship Winners


The winners of our Scholarship Program are Dawson Jones (Frenchtown), Constance Darlington (Hellgate), Nathanael Jourdonnais (Big Sky) and Matney Stropkey (Sentinel). These exceptional high school seniors will each receive $1,000 to attend a university or trade school in Montana. Congratulations, graduates!  –

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2016 Missoula Project for Nonprofit Excellence Winners Announced

Winners Announced for the Missoula Project for Nonprofit Excellence

Local groups awarded grants to build capacity and create a more vibrant community

MISSOULA, (Mont.) – This week, three local nonprofits received grants from the Missoula Community Foundation to build stronger organizations and create a more vibrant community. The Foundation selected Blue Mountain Clinic, Inc., Home ReSource and Missoula Community Access Television (MCAT) as the 2016 grant recipients of the Missoula Project for Nonprofit Excellence (MPNE).

These three nonprofits were awarded funds to work with a local consultant to assess their organizational strengths and needs for improvement. The goal is to identify ways each group can become more effective and efficient in serving clients and their communities, and then help them execute the recommendations to strengthen internal operations necessary to reach their full potential. Each organization and its capacity-building priorities are described briefly below:

Blue Mountain Clinic is an independent family medicine clinic that provides nonjudgmental, safe and compassionate healthcare. It has never accepted government funding, which allows practitioners to have complete autonomy in how they provide care. The MPNE grant will help Blue Mountain assess the best way to position itself within the ever-evolving world of medicine while remaining true to their principles.

Home ReSource’s mission is to reduce waste and build a vibrant and sustainable local economy. Their building materials reuse center employs 30 people, diverts more than 1000 tons of materials annually from the landfill, and provides job training to people experiencing barriers to employment. After years of planning, they recently purchased their store site. This capacity building grant will help the organization manage their rapid growth and navigate the site purchase process.

Missoula Community Access Television (MCAT) promotes the spread of information and exchange of ideas by providing channel time, equipment and training to as many organizations and people as possible. Since 1990, it has donated more than $1,000,000 of in-kind video production services to 700 Missoula groups. MCAT is partnering with the Missoula Public Library, Children’s Museum Missoula and SpectrUM to fundraise and campaign for a new library/community center that would house all of these resources under one roof. MCAT is also shifting from a television model to a media center model, which will focus on education about various forms of media. These major transitions make now the perfect time for this capacity building grant.

MPNE, now in its third year, is coordinated by the Missoula Community Foundation. It is conducted in partnership with the Helena-based Big Sky Institute for the Advancement of Nonprofits (BSI). MPNE is a place-based approach to capacity-building grantmaking that grew out of a multi-year demonstration phase developed by BSI and a group of Montana funders.

MPNE is a collaborative grantmaking program, with Oro y Plata Foundation, Llewellyn Foundation, Pride Foundation, Martha Newell and the Missoula Community Foundation participating in leadership and decision-making over the past three years. This year, the grants were made possible with support from Caroline & Willis Kurtz, the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation, High Stakes Foundation, Martha Newell, Pride Foundation, United Way of Missoula County and the Missoula Community Foundation.

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