2021 Small Grant Announcement

2021 Small Grant Focus

The Missoula Forever Fund at Missoula Community Foundation is offering grant money for Missoula County nonprofits focused on youth and/or providing social services in our community. This year’s grants will award applicants through anti-racism, justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion training. There are three different training opportunities, nonprofit applicants can choose from. One of the most powerful ways Missoula Community Foundation can help organizations accomplish their mission-based work is by building their capacity. Offering training around Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a great way to help organizations build their capacity. 

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.

Technology Grants awarded to 16 nonprofits, focused on connecting community during COVID-19.

Dec. 17, 2020, Missoula, Mont. — The Missoula Community Foundation (Msla CF) recently awarded $27k in technology grants to 16 Missoula nonprofits. This year, the Msla CF tailored these grants to benefit local nonprofits in need of technology education, hardware or software so they can continue to keep our community connected during the pandemic.

These grants will help connect children for educational purposes, connect people for health reasons, and allow organizations to provide their services while reducing risk for clients and staff.

“The Missoula Community Foundation aimed to provide some relief for what we’ve all been dealing with,” said Marcy Allen, Msla CF Executive Director. “Technology has allowed us to stay connected to our jobs, healthcare, friends, family and school. We hope these grants will allow organizations to continue to provide essential services to Missoula.”

For instance, The Poverello Center received a grant to utilize a scanning system for clients accessing meals,

“Receiving the Missoula Community Foundation’s technology grant will have a tremendous impact in allowing us to more safely and efficiently serve those experiencing homelessness in our community during the COVID-19 pandemic.’ said Jesse Jaeger, Poverello Center Director of Development and Advocacy. “The guest scan card system will speed up our check-in systems for accessing food and shelter, creating better social distancing, while at the same time making our program data collection much more accurate.”

The Fourth D Club, which provides a safe place for 12 step programs to meet, received funding for a 360 conferencing camera to allow virtual attendees to feel like they are part of the in person meetings.

The Watershed Education Network received funding for their staff to get education on creating videos and materials to provide virtual curriculum to local schools.

The Msla CF had an unprecedented number of applications and decided to call on their partners to help them fund more of the grants than they could have otherwise. ATG/Cognizant, First Security Bank, United Way of Missoula County, and Sunrise Rotary all pitched in to meet this significant community need.

“This collaborative work to address community needs during the pandemic has really been a bright light for me, it says so much about our community”, said Marcy Allen Executive Director of Missoula Community Foundation.

The Missoula Community Foundation is proud to support these great organizations. To learn more about future funding opportunities and the Community Foundation, https://missoulacommunityfoundation.org/ or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Technology Grant Recipients:

  • C.S. Porter Middle School
  • Fourth D Inc.
  • Franklin Elementary PTA
  • Home Resource
  • Impact Montana
  • Missoula Interfaith Collaborative
  • Moving Mountains Foundation
  • Partnership for Children
  • Poverello Center
  • Recycling Works
  • Soft Landing
  • Tamarack Grief Resource Center
  • The Greater Missoula Family YMCA
  • Watershed Education Network
  • Youth Homes
  • YWCA Missoula

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!

Missoula Community Foundation to Issue Technology Grants

The Missoula Community Foundation recognizes the role that technology is playing in the lives of Missoulians, so they are accepting applications for small technology grants to individuals and groups that need them.

Program Manager for the Missoula Community Foundation Nikki Robb explains.

“We keep hearing from everyone that there’s a lot of technology needs out there,” said Robb. “We’re all finding new ways to stay connected and to get connected and to be able to do things like ordering your groceries or call your doctor, all these different services, but not everybody has access to these things, so we decided this is a great time to offer some smaller grants that are technology-focused.”

Read More: Missoula Community Foundation to Issue Technology Grants