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.