Whitefish Community Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports the Whitefish, Montana, region in the areas of health, human services, education, sports and recreation, environment, civic, animals and wildlife, and arts and culture. Some applications can be accessed via the funder’s website.

FUNDING AREAS: Health, human services, education, sports and recreation, environment, civic, animals and wildlife, and arts and culture

IP TAKE: There are quite a few grant programs here, so don’t overlook smaller opportunities, like the micro-grants.

PROFILE: The Whitefish Community Foundation (WCF) was established in 2000 in Whitefish, Montana. It has provided over $20 million in grants to local nonprofits in this area.

In a recent year, the foundation had about $9 million in donor-advised assets, $8.6 million in endowment fund assets, and awarded $637,000 from WCF grant programs. There are around 83 advised funds, 23 endowment funds, and 43 donors in the Circle of Giving.

Grantmaking topics are health, human services, education, sports and recreation, environment, civic, animals and wildlife, and arts and culture. Community grants have comprised over $1.5 million in total local funding since the program was established in 2000.

In addition to the community grants program, the foundation also awards the Doris Schumm Community Spirit Award, the Russ and Mary Jane Street Community Service Award, and the Jean Howard Memorial Award. There are no applications for these special grants, as recipients are selected by a WCF grants committee. Learn more about special nonprofit awards here.

The Great Fish Community Challenge is organized by WCF for matching grants, the major community project grant program awards $10,000 to $25,000 grants on an invitation-only basis, and there’s a micro-grant program for unexpected needs and small projects that require $1,000 or less. Emergency grants of $500 to $2,000 are awarded at the discretion of the board, scholarships are awarded in connection with the Glacier Restaurant Group, and an endowment challenge grant program helps nonprofits hold permanent endowments at WCF. The youth in philanthropy program gets local middle and high school students involved in local giving.

WCF provides workshops and seminars in nonprofit leadership and training on a regular basis. If your local organization isn’t on WCF’s nonprofit directory, contact the funder to be listed and increase your exposure to potential donors.

Learn more about WCF giving in its annual reports. Their Form 990s are here.

The staff is led by President Linda Engh-Grady, who has been with the foundation since 2008. Other staffers include a VP of finance and operations, a donor relations and finance assistant, a marketing and events coordinator, and a special projects administrator. General or grantseeker questions should be directed to the staff via online form or by phone at 406-863-1781. The funder’s address is 214 2nd Street West, Suite A, P.O. Box 1060, Whitefish, Montana 59937.

Keep up with WCF and its support through their news section. A listing of events, such as charity runs, grant award ceremonies, and nonprofit breakfast meetings, can be found on the funder’s website too.

PEOPLE:

  • Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only.)

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