Women's Giving Circle 2021 Grantee

The Women's Giving Circle awards $10,000 to Mountain Home for their efforts to combat housing and homelessness in Missoula County.

The Women’s Giving Circle of Missoula County (WGC) is proud to announce its 2021 grant recipient for a program or organization focusing on Housing and Homelessness. The WGC members voted to award $10,000 to Mountain Home Montana, which provides housing for at-risk moms and kids, to help fund staff salaries and training there.

Originally established in 2000, Mountain Home is a non-profit organization located in Missoula whose mission is ​​to provide a safe home and nurturing community where young mothers discover their strengths, and children thrive. The group home allows housing for 12 families at a time, serving over 80 families a year through residential and follow-along support. Services include an evidence-based education/employment program; onsite mental health care for both parents and children; a community center offering parenting and life-skills classes; and the state’s first trauma-informed child care.

“Mountain Home is honored and very grateful to receive the generous $10,000 grant from the Women’s Giving Circle of Missoula County. We deeply appreciate their support of the young moms and kids we serve and all the good they make possible,” said Mountain Home Montana’s Executive Director Steph Goble.  “Our locally developed, two-generational approach mirrors cutting-edge best practices for preventing future homelessness, poverty, and trauma.”  The pandemic, Goble added, has only reaffirmed the important role Mountain Home staff play in families’ stability and success. “This strategic and timely funding will help counter global staffing challenges with additional training, competitive salaries, and additional staffing to ensure the families we serve can thrive.”

The Women’s Giving Circle of Missoula County aims to amplify the power of women and nonbinary individuals by allowing them to pool their donations, and then, through a voting process, make collective choices for how best to serve the greater Missoula area. The WGC’s collaborative, member-led model promotes philanthropy and equity among its 100 members from diverse backgrounds and varying degrees of wealth. Each member, no matter whether they contribute the minimum $120 annual donation ($60 for students), or choose to give more, has an equal voice in deciding who receives the grants.

The $10,000 award to Mountain Home Montana is the WGC’s fifth grant since its inception in 2018, and brings the total amount it’s granted to $40,000. Past recipients include, the Missoula Food Bank’s Lived Experience Voices and Leaders (LEVL) program, a leadership and empowerment program for women who have experienced poverty; Free Cycles Missoula, which provides free bicycles and bicycle maintenance workshops to the public. In 2020, the WGC also granted two separate $5,000 awards, the first to YWCA Missoula’s emergency housing program, the second to EmpowerMT to support its BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) afterschool youth group.

The WGC is a program of your Missoula Community Foundation. The Missoula Community Foundation (MslaCF) enhances community vitality by inspiring community giving and strengthening nonprofits. Since 2001, MslaCF has awarded more than $1.7 million to create a thriving, unique and engaged community.

The Women’s Giving Circle of Missoula County announces its 2021 grant focus on Housing and/or Homelessness

The Women’s Giving Circle of Missoula County (WGC) is pleased to invite all non-profit organizations addressing issues of housing and/or homelessness in our community to apply for its 2021 grant award, worth $10,000.  Applications will be accepted from September 6th through October 11th, 2021, with the winner announced in mid-December. 

“Each grant cycle, WGC members vote to determine what critical need they want to focus on, “ said Nikki Robb, Program Manager at the Missoula Community Foundation, which administers the WGC program. “Since its inception in 2018,  we’ve given a total of $30,000 to four different organizations dealing with racial/social justice, COVID-19 relief, environmental concerns, as well as the needs of women and children. This year, with the skyrocketing cost of real estate and the scarcity of rentals, the overwhelming majority of our members felt that housing and homelessness was where they wanted to put their resources. We are looking forward to learning about and supporting the efforts of deserving organizations that are working to come up with creative, effective solutions to this enormous challenge.” 

The Women’s Giving Circle of Missoula County, a program of the Missoula Community Foundation, has grown to include nearly 100 women and non-binary philanthropists of all ages and backgrounds who pool their resources and collaborate to support the community.  Membership dues start at  $120/year ($60 for students), and while many members contribute more than that, all members get the satisfaction of knowing that they are part of a larger community effort that works to improve the life of Missoula area residents. They leverage their resources while at the same time gaining opportunities to learn about community needs and the organizations addressing them.  We give together, we decide together, we benefit together.

The mission of the Women’s Giving Circle is to inspire collaborative giving to strengthen our community. We envision a community where all gifts have value, all members have a voice, and all Missoula County benefits. 

Last year, the Women’s Giving Circle awarded two separate $5,000 grants: one to YWCA Missoula to help address emergency housing needs exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic; the other to EmpowerMT to fund its BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) youth group.  Other past recipients of WGC grants have been the Build A Bike program at Free Cycles, and the LEVL Program of the Missoula Food Bank & Community Center.

“I love being connected to so many smart, generous women and non-binary folks who share my passion for our community and understand that you don’t have to be wealthy to be an effective philanthropist. By working together, our small donations can make an enormous difference.”

–Kathy Witkowsky, Giving Circle Steering Committee Member

Requests for the 2021 grant should clearly demonstrate how funds will be used to address issues of housing and/or homelessness. The WGC evaluates applicants on the Circle’s core values: community, equity, and opportunity

Learn more about being a part of the Women’s Giving Circle Missoula at Womensgivingcirclemissoula.org, via our Facebook Page  or Instagram Page, or by contacting [email protected] or 406-926-2846.


About the Women’s Giving Circle of Missoula County

The Women’s Giving Circle of Missoula County empowers women and non-binary people to be leaders in philanthropy and inspires collaborative giving to create positive change in our community. Every member, whether they give $10 per month or $1,000, has the opportunity to learn about community needs, hear how nonprofit organizations address those needs, and make decisions on how to give collective funds for maximum community impact. Our voices, too often muted in traditional philanthropy, are amplified by working together, so we can invest collective dollars for change.  The WGC of Missoula County is a program of the Missoula Community Foundation.

About Missoula Community Foundation

The mission of the Missoula Community Foundation is to enhance community vitality through inspiring community giving and strengthening nonprofits in the focus areas of education, arts and culture, and community care. We do this work through our programs, services and fund management. We envision a thriving inclusive community.

We Give Together, We Decide Together, We Benefit Together

Women’s Giving Circle of Missoula County Awards Racial and/or Social Justice Grant

The Women’s Giving Circle of Missoula County is proud to announce that the winner of their second $5000 grant for 2020 is being awarded to EmpowerMT. EmpowerMT (https://www.empowermt.org/) was established in 1998 in reaction to the glaring absence of anti-oppression organizations in Montana working to end systemic racism, homophobia, and discrimination.  This organization is multi-generational and multi-issue, recognizing the intersections between all forms of oppression, and works to end them all to create a more just and inclusive society.

“EmpowerMT is honored to receive this generous gift from the Missoula Women’s Giving Circle. Beyond supporting our larger mission to create a just and inclusive Montana, this gift will go directly to EmpowerMT’s BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) youth group, an after-school program created and led by some of Missoula’s young BIPOC leaders, passionate about creating a space where BIPOC youth can come together, share experiences, and impact social change and racial justice in Missoula and across Montana.”

The Women’s Giving Circle of Missoula County aims to engage women of diverse backgrounds and varying wealth levels to build community and grow philanthropy. The Giving Circle was formed in 2018 and is a diverse, dynamic and generous group of women and non-binary peoples engaged in the exciting venture of strategic philanthropy. Operated by the Missoula Community Foundation, Giving Circle members collectively pool their resources in order to leverage their gifts significantly each year for a worthy local nonprofit. The Giving Circle is run by its members who vote on which application will receive funding. A donation to the Giving Circle gives you membership, educational opportunities and the opportunity to participate in the voting process.  The mission of the Women’s Giving Circle is to inspire collaborative giving to strengthen our community. We envision a community where all gifts have value, all donors have a voice, and all Missoula County benefits.

Since its inception, the Giving Circle has granted $30,000 to local nonprofits. In 2018, the Women’s Giving Circle awarded a $10,000 grant from contributions from 80 women, to the Lived Experience Voices and Leaders (LEVL) program at the Missoula Food Bank. The LEVL Program is led by women who have experienced poverty and encourages them to find solutions to hunger based on that experience. In 2019, a $10,000 grant was awarded to Free Cycles, for their work benefitting the environment by helping remove vehicles from our roads.  Our first 2020 grant of $5000 was designed to benefit a Missoula County organization that addresses the devastating effects of Covid-19 on our community.  The YWCA Emergency Housing program received that grant.

For more information about the Women’s Giving Circle of Missoula County, go to womensgivingcirclemissoula.org.

KPAX Story by Connor McCauley, How EmpowerMT intends to use the grant funds.

Congratulations, EmpowerMT!