Who We Are

Photo by Gravity Media Productions
The Missoula Community Foundation is a tax-exempt public charity created by and for the people of Missoula. Since 2001, we have awarded more than $1.3 million in grants and scholarships to improve the lives of those in our town. Each year, we help donors reach their philanthropic goals, nonprofits achieve their missions, and students attend higher education.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we provide grants to nonprofits that fund education, housing, healthcare, the arts, the environment, and more. We are the only organization focused solely on protecting and preserving all of Missoula’s assets, for today and for future generations.

Our mission is to enhance community vitality by inspiring philanthropy and strengthening nonprofits. Our vision is a thriving and inclusive community.

Whether we chose this place or were born here, all of us at the Missoula Community Foundation are committed to helping Missoulians thrive.

Our history

The Missoula Community Foundation originally formed in 2001 as a project of Lee Enterprises and the Missoulian under the name Celebrate Missoula Community Foundation. The Foundation initially made small grants of up to $2,000. Between 2001 and 2007, the Foundation raised approximately $20,000 annually for those grants. The Board reorganized in 2007 with a larger vision of becoming a full-fledged community foundation with a significant endowment, and the name was changed to the Missoula Community Foundation.

What is a community foundation?

• A community foundation connects people who care to causes that matter by receiving, managing, and distributing charitable funds.

• A community foundation can accept gifts from individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies, and it can design giving plans for a range of donors. It invests funds in a permanent endowment and distributes funds in the community.

• A community foundation offers substantial help to existing non-profits, offers unique tax advantages and flexibility to donors, and educates people in ways of giving within a civic culture.

• A community foundation serves three masters: donors, recipients, and the community’s need for leadership and coordination of philanthropic efforts.

How is a community foundation different from other charities?

• A community foundation can accept funds from a variety of donors including individuals, foundations, corporations,and government agencies.

• A community foundation grows funds through an invested endowment, not just an annual funding drive. It manages this endowment and specific endowments within it. It is a savings account with interest, not just a checking account.

• A community foundation distributes to all worthy local causes designated by donors or by the foundation, such as human services, culture, downtown, rivers, parks, arts. We support local non-profits with funds and grants.

• A community foundation offers donors the advantages of long-term legacies through flexible, controlled giving and numerous tax advantages.