Gianforte Family Foundation

OVERVIEW: This family foundation primarily supports Bozeman and other communities in Montana in the areas of jobs, education, entrepreneurship, Christian outreach and discipleship, needy families, and arts and culture.

FUNDING AREAS: Jobs, education, entrepreneurship, Christian outreach and discipleship, needy families, arts and culture

IP TAKE: This family-run foundation is immersed in Christian values. However, the founder is a serial entrepreneur, so any entrepreneurial efforts for youth can be directed here too.

PROFILE: The Gianforte Family Foundation was established in 2005 and is one of the largest grantmakers in Montana. It is based in Bozeman and keeps a significant amount of funding within the city and state. Greg Gianforte is an entrepreneur and the founder of RightNow Technologies, later sold to Oracle. Greg and his wife, Susan, are trustees of the GFF board, and their four children are the other board members.

Grantmaking areas are jobs, education, entrepreneurship, Christian outreach and discipleship, needy families, and arts and culture. Bozeman is typically the sole focus of GFF’s arts and culture support. Jobs and education grants generally stay within Montana. GFF may look further for faith-based organizations that are involved with helping the needy and strengthening families.

Support has gone to Child Bridge’s work in Montana, Youth Empowerment Services in Anaconda, Helena Industries’ work with providing jobs, and Community Leadership Development’s affordable housing work in Billings. Since it was founded, GFF has given out over $51.7 million in Bozeman, throughout Montana, and beyond.

Foundation trustees consider new grant requests at quarterly meetings. Upcoming due dates are published on the funder’s website, however, it’s a good idea to submit your application early in case further information is requested. Applicants can expect a response within about six weeks of submitting an application.

Aside from the grants program, GFF also funds special initiatives. PiLab equipment funding is available to K-12 private and rural public schools in Montana for computer science activities. The Love INC New Affiliate Development initiative is available for affiliates in Montana as specific stages of development are reached. Learn more about the foundation’s giving in its annual reports.

The grant application can be accessed online, and approved grantees must reapply each year for new funding. Only one application is accepted per organization per year. The foundation appreciates clear and concise information. Generally, only groups from Montana receive GFF funding; the funder likes to start with small grant amounts for organizations that it hasn’t previously supported. International grants are very rare unless the family has a personal connection to the group. It also welcomes inquiries about the application process, so feel free to reach out via online form.

There is just one staff member at GFF, Executive Director Catherine Koenen, who has been with the foundation since 2013. The entire board of trustees is made up of all Gianforte family members.


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