Helping nonprofits build a source of permanent sustainability.
For the past five years, the Community Foundation has been awarding challenge grants to nonprofits that hold endowment funds with it to help them encourage donations to build their permanent endowments.
Since the program began in 2010, $80,000 in challenge grant funding has been awarded to local nonprofits including: Humane Society of Northwest Montana, Glacier Symphony and Chorale, Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation, CASA for Kids, North Valley Food Bank, Shepherd’s Hand Free Clinic, Whitefish Library Association, Stumptown Historical Society, Human Therapy on Horseback and Whitefish Theatre Company. Several of the organizations have successfully reapplied and climbed all three levels of the challenge program receiving a total of $15,000 in challenge funding.
Currently, three organizations are working on challenges to build their endowments: Alpine Theatre Project, Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation (currently on its second challenge) and Whitefish Education Foundation.
On the first tier, the nonprofit with an established permanent endowment with the Community Foundation is challenged to raise $10,000 and then Foundation will give them a matching grant of $5,000.
On the second tier the nonprofit is required to raise $20,000 to receive $5,000, and the third tier the nonprofit must raise $30,000 to receive $5,000.
Endowment Funds promote a permanent source of funding for nonprofits. In 2015 the Whitefish Community Foundation distributed $232,828 in endowment grants to fund the programs of local nonprofits. This was up by 29% percent from 2014. In total, the Community Foundation currently holds just over $6 M in endowed funds. The Foundation’s own endowment fund, which is currently $2.8 M distributes 100% of the annual payout to fund the Community Grant Programs.