Trends 2017: Montana

Grantmaking to Montana rose 61%, the largest increase among the six Northwest states, between 2012 and 2014. Education was the top priority for funders to Montana, receiving nearly one-fifth of all funding, led by a $7 million grant from the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation to the University of Montana Foundation in Missoula. Environment and animals, a close second issue area by total dollar amount, received the largest number of grants (905).

Compared to overall giving to the Northwest, Montana grantees received a far greater proportion of grant dollars for the environment (19% to Montana vs. 7% to the Northwest), including a $40,000 grant from the Montana Community Foundation to the Big Blackfoot Chapter of Trout Unlimited for stream restoration. Montana organizations also received a greater proportion of funding towards public affairs compared to the overall Northwest region (4% vs. 1%).

Top 10 Grantmakers to Montana, 2014*

  1. Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation (MT)
  2. The Leona M. & Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust (NY)
  3. Gilhousen Family Foundation (MT)
  4. Schwab Charitable Fund (CA)
  5. Montana Community Foundation (MT)
  6. M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust (WA)
  7. The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation (CA)
  8. The Bair Ranch Foundation (MT)
  9. Gianforte Family Charitable Trust (MT)
  10. Oro y Plata Foundation (MT)

*Based on grants data reported to Foundation Center by January 2017

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