Community Heart & Soul® and the Montana Community Foundation Join Forces to Strengthen Local Communities

May 21, 2024

In a collaboration focused on strengthening small cities and towns in Montana, Community Heart & Soul and the Montana Community Foundation are broadening the reach of a proven model for resident-driven community engagement. 

Community Heart & Soul engages the entire population of a town in identifying what they love most about their community, what future they want for it, and how to achieve it. 

The Montana Community Foundation, a statewide philanthropic organization, shares a similar mission of strengthening communities throughout Montana. 

By combining Community Heart & Soul's resident-driven approach to community engagement with the Montana Community Foundation’s resources and network, including Montana State University Extension and the West Yellowstone Foundation, the partnership aims to catalyze positive change in towns and cities across the state.

Mary Rutherford, President and CEO of the Montana Community Foundation expressed her excitement about the partnership: “At the Montana Community Foundation, we believe in the power of people. By partnering with Community Heart & Soul, we can bring people together to create a vision for their community, to help it thrive for generations to come.”

Mark Sherman, President of Community Heart & Soul, echoed Rutherford’s enthusiasm stating, “We are thrilled to partner with the Montana Community Foundation to support resident engagement in communities in their state.” 

The Community Heart & Soul process involves the following phases: 

  • Imagine: Heart & Soul teams are formed to build awareness, interest, and commitment in all segments of the community.
  • Connect: Stories are gathered from residents, leading to the development of Heart & Soul Statements that identify what matters most and reflect what they love about their towns.
  • Plan: Residents develop action plans to guide future town planning based on the Heart & Soul Statements.
  • Act: Heart & Soul Statements are adopted, incorporated into plans, and put into action.

Additional information on the Community Heart & Soul program, including general information and timelines, can be found on the MCF website at For questions, please contact Local Community Foundations Program Officer, Taylor Crowl at (406) 603-4913 or

About Community Heart & Soul

Community Heart & Soul, a nonprofit organization, builds stronger, healthier, and more economically vibrant small cities and towns across the United States. In addition to promoting the Community Heart & Soul model, the organization trains and supports a nationwide network of Certified Community Heart & Soul Coaches who provide training and guidance to over 120 local communities.  The organization is currently offering $10,000 Seed Grants to qualifying small cities and towns to start the Community Heart & Soul process. 


About the Montana Community Foundation

The Montana Community Foundation’s mission is to cultivate a culture of giving so Montana communities can flourish. Founded in 1988, MCF manages more than $160 million in assets and administers more than 1,400 philanthropic funds and planned gifts. Since its founding, MCF has reinvested more than $100 million in Montana through scholarships, grants, and programs. Learn more at