#PNWOnTheRoad in Montana

#PNWOnTheRoad in Montana

Yellow graphic that reads "PNW on the Road, Montana" and has graphics of a farm in the background and an RV with Pacific Northwest themed stickers.

This year, our Philanthropy Northwest staff packed up our bags and took a road trip to visit members throughout our region as part of #PNWOnTheRoad. Through these trips, we set out to reconnect in person with our members and partners, do some shared learning and find out more about what our network is focusing on. This leg of the journey took us to beautiful Montana! See highlights from our trip below. 



In June, we hosted our annual board retreat in Whitefish. During this time, our board members dove into an impactful discussion about the role of place in equity work and how Philanthropy Northwest can serve as a space to bring people together who are doing racial equity work in the greater Pacific Northwest. 

We also got a chance to do a bit of sightseeing! Whitefish Community Foundation (WCF) hosted our board reception at Underscore Art Gallery where we had the opportunity to meet with community members and WCF grantees including Project Whitefish Kids and Whitefish Legacy partners. In addition to this, Philanthropy Northwest board and staff participated in a hike on the Whitefish Trail, led by Cynthia Inglefinger of Whitefish Legacy partners. On the hike we learned more about their work to ensure conservation, recreation and education on the lands surrounding Whitefish for future generations. 


Bozeman and Livingston 

This fall, we ventured to Bozeman and Livingston to connect with our partners in the area.  

We met with staff from the Arthur M. Blank Foundation in their new offices in Livingston. They shared about how the foundation is seeking to accelerate its overall giving and about their grantmaking priorities of mental health, youth development, democracy, and environment and conservation. In addition to grantmaking, we learned about the foundation management of a convening facility in West Creek with a challenge course available to the community.  

While in Livingston, we met with our friends at the Park County Community Foundation and enjoyed the scenery of beautifully restored brick buildings enveloped by a chain of mountains in Paradise Valley. Their staff told us about the foundation’s growth in the last five years as well as its intention to center community voice.  

In Bozeman, we met with our partners at Neighborhood Funders Group (NFG) to hear about their equity based rural strategies which are largely focused on power building. NFG created a funder assessment to support rural organizing and this past January hosted a multi-racial rural equity summit which they will repeat in 2024. 

We also touched base with our members at Foundant and learned about how they view themselves as an enabler of making philanthropy more accessible to communities by leveraging technology and facilitating more efficient processes. We discussed how to leverage better data for the field. 

This trip to Montana was one for the books. Thank you to all folks who graciously hosted our staff and shared your knowledge. We look forward to many more trips to this beautiful state – including our journey to Missoula for our next in-person conference. Mark your calendars for our October 21-23 and stay tuned for more information from us!