About WCF
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What is Whitefish Community Foundation?

Whitefish Community Foundation has been helping donors make smart giving decisions and nonprofits become more effective in their work since 2000.  The Foundation manages over $36 million in assets, and our annual collaborative event called the Great Fish Community Challenge, has raised over $9 million in just five years to benefit local nonprofits. Over the course of our work, we have helped donors give more effectively through our Donor Advised Fund Program and built sustainability for nonprofits with our Permanent Endowment Program. We exist to improve the quality of life in our community for everyone.

Our Mission
Whitefish Community Foundation is dedicated to fostering philanthropy, building endowments, and helping donors and nonprofits benefit our community.

The Whitefish Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, EIN # 81-0833002. We are able to accept donations through a variety of means. Donations are tax deductible under state and federal tax laws and may be made over the phone by calling 406-863-1781; mailed to P.O. Box 1060, Whitefish, MT 59937; or online on our  secure donations page

Some of Our Services

  • Community Grant Program – This quarterly grant program makes awards based on community impact and organizational capacity.     
  • Donor Advised Fund Program Simplifies charitable giving, offering due diligence in grant making, competitive fees, advanced investment program, and secure access to fund activity online.
  • Great Fish Community Challenge – Inspires our Community to give during this annual Challenge that has raised over $7M in just four years running for over 55 participating charities.
  • Endowment Program – Builds sustainability for local nonprofit organizations and allows donors to take advantage of the Montana Endowment Tax Credit to help build Montana Permanent Endowment Funds.
  • Legacy Funds – Works with donors to set up a lasting Legacy that benefits the charities they have enjoyed supporting during their lifetime. A Legacy Fund will give according to your wishes in perpetuity and allow you to be remembered for your support.



Whitefish Community Foundation is audited by JCCS of Kalispell. Audit reports are available upon request. Our annual 990 filing is available for download here.


Whitefish Community Foundation Board Of Directors is comprised of 18 community members who are actively involved with the Foundation’s investment management, governance, grant programs, and development.


Whitefish Community Foundation Staff is comprised of 5 dedicated people who are passionate about helping our local nonprofits succeed for the good of the community.

Foundation Facts

Established in 2000, Whitefish Community Foundation serves donors, nonprofit organizations, and the community.


In the 2018 Columbus Survey of Community Foundations, Whitefish Community Foundation was ranked #1 in per capita grants out of the top 100 Community Foundations surveyed nation wide. 

Area of Service

Whitefish Community Foundation is focused mainly on the greater Whitefish area. The Foundation's top priority is to meet the needs of the Whitefish community and schools. The Foundation does expand its reach by providing support for organizations that are serving the critical needs in surrounding communities of the Flathead Valley, especially when these are services not offered in Whitefish.


The Community Foundation's Board of Directors is comprised of 18 local individuals that are deeply involved with the Foundation's work and the community. The Board of Directors bring a vast amount of knowledge to the Foundation. They are donors, fund holders, fundraisers, business owners, and entrepreneurs.


Foundation assets have grown to over $28 million in 2018 . The Foundation has over $9M in permanently endowed assets and its own endowment fund is over $3M. Donor Advised Fund assets total more than $14M with the average fund size $250,000.

Grant Programs

Whitefish Community Foundation's Grant Programs have expanded to cover many needs in the area. The Foundation's combined grant programs award over $600,000 annually.


WCF employs two full-time employees and two part-time employees. The Foundation staff has grown over the years to manage the growing number of programs offered. With the organization of the Great Fish Community Challenge, the WCF added two additional part-time employees and continues to use a seasonal special projects employee as the work warrants.


WCF currently has over 145 Funds. The Foundation offers Donor Advised, Designated, Agency, Endowment, Annuity, and Scholarship Funds.


Number of Funds


Current Assets


Total of Grants Awarded in 2017


Years of Service

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we need the Whitefish Community Foundation?

Whitefish Community Foundation offers donors and nonprofits a resource for philanthropy. We provide nonprofits with a source for grant revenue, we help manage and grow nonprofit endowment funds, and we help encourage donors to give back to our community. For donors, we offer tax advantages and planned giving, we educate donors on where their money is needed and where they can make the most impact, and we offer simplified giving platforms with many advantages.

Why should I give to Whitefish Community Foundation?

Whitefish Community Foundation offers donors a way to simplify their charitable giving:

  • You can give through the Great Fish Community Challenge and maximize your gift to one or many of the participating charities and only have one tax receipt to retain.
  • You can open a Donor Advised Fund which offers the convenience of making one gift and then granting the funds out over a period of time.
  • Your gift to the Community Foundation helps to expand the important work of the Foundation’s many grant programs.
  • Your gift to the Circle of Giving supports all the Foundation’s grant programs, including Major Community Projects, Emergency Grants, Community Grants, and the Great Fish Community Challenge that inspires the rest of our community to give.
Does Whitefish Community Foundation compete with local nonprofits for funding?

No. Whitefish Community Foundation makes charitable giving easy for donors through its Donor Advised Fund Program. It also works with local nonprofits and donors through a giving platform that inspires the community to give during the Great Fish Community Challenge by offering a matching grant. Donors often get involved with the Community Foundation when they are short-term residents because it is a way for them to get involved with the community on a level that works for them.

How does Whitefish Community Foundation fund its operations?

Whitefish Community Foundation has a very diversified source of operating funds:

  • Fees for administering the Donor Advised and Endowment Fund programs
  • Its Endowment Fund which is over $3M today offers an annual distribution for operations
  • The Patron Pass Programs in partnership with Whitefish Mountain Resort and Whitefish Lake Golf Club help support operations
  • The Annual Summer Art Social funds 22% of the Foundations operations
  • Unrestricted donations earmarked for operations fund 11%
Why should I open a fund at Whitefish Community Foundation?

Whitefish Community Foundation offers donors a professional Donor Advised Program that is convenient, easy to use, and offers a very competitive low administration fee to manage your fund. You can access our community knowledge and find out what programs and nonprofits need. Your fund can be invested just like a commercial charitable fund but when you open a Donor Advised Fund with Whitefish Community Foundation, the low fees you pay will stay here and benefit your community.

Can I recommend grants to charities outside of Whitefish from my Donor Advised Fund?

Yes, you can recommend a grant from your Donor Advised Fund to any 501(c)(3) charity in the United States and to qualifying international charities.

Why should I consider a Donor Advised Fund over a Private Foundation?

There are several reasons to consider a Donor Advised Fund over a Private Foundation as your charitable giving tool:

  • Whitefish Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and contributions receive the maximum tax advantage for contributions.
  • Donor Advised Funds simplify your reporting and charitable giving because the Community Foundation takes care of everything and all you do is retain one tax receipt.
  • Your Donor Advised Fund can be invested to grow over time and it is not subject to excise taxes. There is also no minimum amount you must give each year.
  • When you open a Donor Advised Fund with the Community Foundation, you can access our community expertise and we do all the grant making due diligence for you.