Donor Profile: Gift of silver highlights generosity across generations

Recently, one of our anonymous donors, we’ll call her Jane, sent us a gift of 20 silver coins dating back to the 1880s. It’s not often we get such an interesting donation, so we had to ask her about it.

How did you decide to donate silver coins?

I was at the Giving Circle event and it struck me that this was a way for me to do something for the greater good. My contribution could support not just the Missoula Community Foundation but would trickle into other outstanding local nonprofits. As for why silver, it’s what I had. I don’t have a ton (or even a few lbs) of mullah in my bank account, but I had recently inherited that silver and I wanted to do something good with it, not just pay down a bill. So I just decided, “yeah, I’m going to give it away.”

Why did you choose to give to the Missoula Community Foundation?

As a resident of Missoula County I think it is my duty to support my community. I’ve watched the MissoulaCF do some outstanding things over the years for local organizations, youth, and people, and I know their passion for a strong community. I also appreciate that they do their research. That is a big deal to me. When I choose to make a contribution I want to know that my money is going to a credible and fiscally responsible organization, and through my time seeing what MissoulaCF does, I believe they rock at that.

How did silver coins from the 1800s make their way into your family’s history?

My family has always done things a little differently. My father was really old school, he didn’t like banks and as far as I know never had a “normal” loan in his life. His famous quote was “Owe no man nothin’ but to love him”. He bartered and traded for what we had and did a lot of it with silver. He also taught us kids “when the going gets tight and you’re down to your last, give it away and it will always come back tenfold.” When he passed away he left that little box of coins to me and I decided to take his advice to pass it forward. Sort of took a weight off my shoulders that I could honor his memory by helping someone else.

As Jane’s gift shows, there are many ways that you can support your favorite local nonprofits. Gifts of silver, gold, stock, or property can all provide valuable proceeds to the Missoula Community Foundation. If you have questions about what types of donations we can accept, please contact Meredith Printz at 406-926-2846.