Lower Flathead Valley Community Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports the Flathead Indian Reservation and surrounding areas of Montana on the topics of libraries, education, youth, facility improvements, youth recreation, museums, and local history. 

FUNDING AREAS: Education, preservation and conservation, culture and the arts, appropriate economic development, civic improvement

IP TAKE: Focus your local idea on something that brings tribal leaders and non-tribal leaders together. Projects addressing the needs of children will get the funder’s attention.  

PROFILE: The Lower Flathead Valley Community Foundation (LFVCF) is based in Ronan, Montana, and serves the local community. Its goal is to bring together tribal and non-tribal community members to work on projects for the sake of conserving the region’s cultural, natural, and human resources. The funder has a specific interest in serving the needs of children.

Like other community foundations, this is a collection of funds contributed by citizens, corporations, and charitable organizations to benefit the local area. The area of interest is the Flathead Indian Reservation and the surrounding region. The permanent endowment fund at LFVCF began with $1 million and has increased substantially since then.

The foundation provides discretionary funds to nonprofits for special projects when funds are available. The board of directors discusses and evaluates large grant applications at quarterly meetings with consideration of the full board, while smaller grant applicants are evaluated by and determined by executive committee decision.

LFVCF carries on the legacy of the late Vera Jensen, who contributed her estate to the foundation. Today, the funder grants over $100,000 each year to local groups. Typical causes include local libraries for summer reading programs, school playground projects, student achievement activities, local facility improvements, youth sports and recreation programs, local historical societies, museums, and other small groups in the area. Specific interest areas are education, preservation and conservation, culture and the arts, appropriate economic development, and civic improvement. A list of prior donations is here. A majority of the recent grants have been between $1,000 and $5,000.

To apply for an LFVCF grant, you’ll need to mail your application information to the foundation via P.O. Box. The quarterly deadlines to apply are March 15, May 5, August 15, and November 15. As a rule, religious activities, political groups, benefit tickets, telephone solicitations, debt retirement, and organizations trying to influence legislation are not funded.

There is no official application form, so check the guidelines for details about what to include in your envelope. Grant requests for less than $3,000 require less information than requests for more funding.

General questions can be directed to the foundation at lfvcf@lfvcf.com. The mailing address is P.O. Box 255, Ronan, Montana 59864.

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