Whitefish Community Foundation | $1,486,546 Awarded to 40 Nonprofit Organizations
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$1,486,546 Awarded to 40 Nonprofit Organizations

$1,486,546 Awarded to 40 Nonprofit Organizations

On October 10th, the Whitefish Community Foundation distributed almost $1.5 million to 40 participating nonprofits in the second annual Great Fish Community Challenge! The fundraiser that began on July 12th  raised a total of $1,486,546 during the two month campaign.


The Challenge received 2,420 contributions totaling $1,150,500. The Whitefish Community Foundation match amounted to 55% on the first $15,000 raised by each nonprofit for a total match of just over $322,523 bringing the total awa
rded at the Great Fish Grant Presentation to $1,486,546.


The Great Fish Match Fund started with a Challenge of $200,000 that came from the Foundation’s Circle of Giving. The Foundation Board increased this amount by another $72,000 and an additional $50,000 came from the individuals who donated directly to the Great Fish Match Fund.


Nearly all the participating nonprofits exceeded $15,000 or more and received the maximum matching grant of $8,250. Grants were presented to the nonprofits at the Great Fish Awards Event on October 10 at Casey’s in downtown Whitefish.


Throughout the Challenge, the Community Foundation offered incentive grants and instant grants to participating nonprofits totaling $13,500. The bonus grants helped to increase the urgency of donors to give to participating nonprofits to help them earn even more money.


The total amount raised by the nonprofits surpasses the 2015 total of $915,000. “The 2016 number is very impressive,” Linda Engh-Grady, President of the Whitefish Community Foundation said. The 2015 campaign included a single gift of $200,000 to one organization where donations in the 2016 campaign were more evenly distributed. Excluding  the $200,000 gift from the 2015 total brings the 2016 campaign results to a 38% increase. Several organizations raised over $60,000 through the 2016 Challenge. “It is more than just raising money; it is about raising mission awareness,” Engh-Grady said.


Donations were flooding into the Foundation office both online and in the mail during the final two weeks of the campaign. Foundation Vice President of Finance and Operations Daria Perez said that over $500,000 was processed in the final two weeks of the campaign.


“It was exciting to see many new donors give through the Challenge this year. It means the concept is catching on,” Engh-Grady said.  The Community Foundation processed all the gifts for the campaign.  All the costs of the campaign and the signature color run were covered by the Whitefish Community Foundation with the help of local sponsors so that 100% of all donations went to the designated charities.


The Whitefish Community Foundation is very pleased with the final number raised in the campaign and is making plans for the 2017 Great Fish Challenge.