News and Insights

Census 2020: Montana Community Foundation Helps Ensure a Complete Count

11/15/2018

Mary K. Rutherford, Guest Contributor | Being counted matters a lot! Just a few weeks ago, MCF participated in the first Montana 2020 Complete Census Count Committee meeting where people from across Montana gathered to discuss how best to get the word out about the importance of getting an accurate count. April 1, 2020 may seem like it's a long way off, yet it will be here before we know it. more »

May Giving Days Raise $21M for Northwest Nonprofits

05/11/2017

Nicole Neroulias Gupte | Preliminary results from this month's 24-hour giving days in Idaho, Montana and Washington report that donors gave more than $21.4 million to a range of nonprofits across our region. The current estimate falls below last year's May giving day totals — which raised about $25.4 million for nonprofits in Idaho, Montana and Washington, despite a national website crash that delayed and discouraged donors — but above the $19 million raised in 2015. Final numbers won't be available for a few more weeks, as organizers confirm payments, matching funds and other complex calculations. more »

Foundations on the Hill: A Sense of Urgency

03/27/2017

Mike Halligan, Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation | Philanthropy Northwest's recent delegation to Foundations on the Hill 2017 included Mike Halligan, who shared his insights with us as a nine-time participant in this annual visit with national policymakers in Washington, D.C. In contrast to my eight previous experiences as a Foundations on the Hill delegate, I detected a palpable sense of urgency by policymakers and staff this year. It was clear from my time on the Hill that dramatic policy changes are on the horizon — and that philanthropy can and should play a professional, objective role in educating our representatives and their constituents on policy issues that impact the livability and sustainability of our communities in the Northwest. Most importantly, we should use our role as a trusted convener to bring all voices to the table to facilitate the resolution of problems that seem beyond our reach at this time. more »

Big Web, Small Threads: Reflecting on Rural Philanthropy

11/08/2016

Amy Hyfield, The O.P. & W.E. Edwards Foundation | Many of our towns and cities in the Northwest are small, rural and geographically isolated. There is real power in the community that develops in these places. The interconnectedness is out in the open, on the surface, evident and real. Economic development depends upon the availability of childcare, housing, recreation and transportation. Housing depends on the availability of jobs, the quality of life, the efficiency of infrastructure, zoning and the layout of a town. Recreation depends on location, community health and investment priorities, land use and access to the outdoors. The web of factors that impact the themes of diversity, equity and inclusion explored at Philanthropy Northwest’s recent conference, Under One Sky, is especially complicated and tangled in rural areas. Grantmakers are charged with keeping the big picture in perspective. more »

Introducing the 2016 Northwest Nonprofit Capacity Report

09/20/2016

A consortium of five northwest state nonprofit associations has released a comprehensive study on the capacity, strengths, and challenges of the region’s nonprofit sector. The 2016 Northwest Nonprofit Capacity Report: Our Strengths — Our Challenges — Our Resilience, developed using survey data from more than 1,000 nonprofits in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, highlights the progress nonprofits are making in creating a resilient sector. more »

Northwest Area Foundation Awards $1M in MT, OR, WA

08/03/2016

The Minnesota-based Northwest Area Foundation approved 27 grants worth $5.3 million in the second quarter of 2016, focused on advancing good jobs and financial capability by funding grantees whose work creates enterprise development, access to capital, workforce opportunity, and financial inclusion for low-income communities, with a special focus on those that are Native, communities of color or immigrant. In the Northwest, these grants included more than $1 million for programs in Montana, Oregon and Washington. more »

10 Things You Need to Do in Missoula

06/27/2016

Anne Yoon, Program Associate | I'm a native Washingtonian, but I haven't had the chance to explore much of the Northwest beyond the Puget Sound region yet. Road-tripping to Montana has long been on my bucket list, and with Philanthropy Northwest's annual conference Under One Sky in Missoula this fall, I'm excited to make the most of this experience! Nestled in Montana's Northern Rockies, surrounded by seven wilderness areas and at the confluence of three rivers, Missoula is an outdoor adventure. What should I do first? There's plenty of hiking in the 60,000 acres of wilderness minutes from our conference site. There's also walking tours, art galleries and opportunities to learn more about Missoula's Salish Indian roots. Afterwards, we can cool down with a glass of local craft beer and try the bison burgers. More than 100 people have signed up to attend so far, representing 46 organizations committed to vibrant, healthy Northwest communities. What are you most looking forward to doing in Missoula? more »

Virtual Roundtable: Philanthropic Banks

06/22/2016

Our "virtual roundtable" interviews feature a group of leaders from across our network who work on a common issue area, illuminating the diversity of place-based approaches to the shared topic. We kicked this series off in February with the CEOs of five healthcare conversion foundations, then continued in March with the Pacific Northwest's seven statewide nonprofit associations, April with four arts funders and May with five rural funders. For June, we interviewed representatives of four banks engaged in Northwest philanthropy: First Interstate Bank, Pacific Continental Bank, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo. more »

The Northwest Art of Bringing People Together

06/02/2016

Deb Halliday, Graduation Matters Montana | How many convenings have you attended that turned out to be nothing more than a "sit and git" — panelists presenting recent data, research and the occasional inspirational story? At a recent Washington, D.C. gathering of practitioners working on high school dropout prevention, I kept waiting for the point when we’d be introduced to each other, or invited to talk in small groups about what we were hearing and how it connects — or doesn’t connect — to our own experiences. Instead: meeting over, nametags tossed, a nice new tote bag to add to my collection. On my flight home, I thought about how we’ve designed Graduation Matters Montana, in which we invite people to explore what we’re learning and to co-create new approaches. In six short years, we’ve reached the highest graduation rate on state record, with over 50 Montana communities now hosting a GMM initiative. The art of bringing people together has been central to this work, and I wondered: “Is it a Northwestern thing?” more »

Raising the Bar on Philanthropic Giving in Montana

03/25/2016

The incredible generosity of Montanans during 2015 can be considered a clear testament to the commitment our friends and neighbors have to the state's future, writes Mary K. Rutherford, Montana Community Foundation CEO and a Philanthropy Northwest board member. In a guest column for Montana's Missoulian newspaper, she honors the large and small gifts made last year, and calls on more Montanans to consider giving to permanently endowed funds to support charitable causes and nonprofits. more »

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