2019: A Year in Review
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2019: A Year in Review

2019: A Year in Review


Whitefish Community Foundation

Take a look back at what we did in 2019!

Whitefish Community Foundation – A Year in Review

2019 finished strong for the Whitefish Community Foundation. Investment returns were high which translates to growth in our endowment funds to benefit local nonprofits and more money to grant out for our Donor Advised Funds. The Community Foundation’s grant programs remained strong and the Foundation distributed over $5.5 million in grants, mostly to local nonprofits, through our robust grant programs.

The Great Fish Community Challenge finished with another record year, raising over $2.8 million for 53 charities. The Community Foundation awarded a 49% match on the first $20,000 raised by each nonprofit amounting to an additional $9,800 on top of the public donations each nonprofit received.

32 nonprofits received a total of $89,000 through the Community Grant Program in 2019. Nonprofits applied for up to $4,000 in funding and applications were accepted in both spring and fall.  Another $37,000 was awarded through the Discretionary Grant Program. The Major Community Project Grant Program awarded $30,000 to the Stumptown Ice Den for the purchase of an electric Zamboni.

The value of the Foundation’s donor advised funds (DAFs) increased by 15% in 2019. Those DAFs distributed almost $4.8 million to qualified charities. The grants distributed from DAFs greatly impacts the work of our local nonprofits, and the administration fees that DAFs pay to the Whitefish Community Foundation are one of the primary sources of funding for the Foundation’s programs.

The Foundation continues to work on special projects with Designated Funds. These funds benefit on-going projects like the Whitefish Performing Arts Center and the Center for Sustainability and Entrepreneurship for the Whitefish School District, and new projects including the Oldest Man Walking Fund.

Endowment development continues to be an important part of the Foundation’s mission. In 2019, the Foundation opened three new endowment funds for local nonprofits bringing the total number of Nonprofit Endowment Funds to 34. These endowments provided almost $300,000 in sustainable funding to local nonprofits.

What’s in store for 2020?

In 2020 we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary. Throughout the year we will be celebrating the foundation’s past, present and future by connecting people who care with projects that matter. We will continue to work to build more opportunities for donors to connect with important needs benefiting our community. We will also continue to build a strong Circle of Giving to provide important grant funding to our local nonprofits.  We are here to serve our community and we value the trust bestowed upon us by our donors, grantees, community leaders, and the people we serve.

The 6th annual Great Fish Community Challenge will launch July 30th and run seven weeks, ending September 18th. Nonprofits interested in participating in the Challenge must fill out an application that is due February 27th by 4 p.m. In 2019, 2,085 donors contributed to the Great Fish Community Challenge. With a possible 55 charities or more participating in the 2020 Challenge, our goals are to exceed the number of donors that gave during the 2019 campaign and raise more money to help benefit critical programs.

The Community Grant Program will be offered twice in 2020, with applications due in March and October. The maximum request for a Community Grant will increase to $4,000. Nonprofits that do not participate in the Great Fish Community Challenge are eligible to apply.

Community building projects that can benefit from the Major Community Project Grant Program will be a priority for the Foundation. We will continue to work with our DAF advisors to make bigger impact grants that are rooted in community. We are deeply committed to our work in service to the place we call home.