In the Community

Local Leader - July 2023

July 13, 2023

July 2023

An Incentive to Build Your Endowment

Local Leaders,

Your support and partnership over the last 35 years has enabled the Montana Community Foundation (MCF) to launch our newest initiative: LCF+ Incentive Program – $1 Million for Montana. We are thrilled to offer this program to you and your community. The goal of this initiative is to encourage your Local Community Foundation (LCF) to grow your unrestricted endowed assets at MCF. In turn, we will provide funds for immediate grantmaking or other needs within your community. The LCF+ Incentive Program will start in January 2024, so this summer and fall will be an important time to lay the groundwork for success.

For those who were able to join us for the LCF Convenings, you heard about the structure of the LCF+ Incentive Program. For those that were not able to join us, I will reach out to ensure that you know about the details of this opportunity. The application is due on November 15, 2023, so this summer is a great time to discuss the LCF+ Incentive Program with your board. As you do, please reach out to me with any questions.

We cannot wait to see the impact the LCF+ Incentive Program has on your community. We know that each of you is tackling pressing projects, so we hope the LCF+ Incentive Program provides additional resources for your hard work.

Looking forward to partnering with each of you on this.

Taylor Crowl
LCF, Program Officer

We Want Your Feedback

In May, MCF staff traveled more than 1,200 miles across Montana to facilitate LCF Convenings in Helena, Red Lodge, Glasgow, and online. LCF Convenings offer the chance for LCFs to connect and learn from one another. We are already thinking about the best way to do this in the upcoming year!

Do you have thoughts on the LCF Convenings or other workshops that would be beneficial for your LCF? If so, please fill out this 5-minute survey. Please note: we would love your feedback even if you were unable to attend the LCF Convenings this year.

Take the Survey!

Celebrating Around the State

We loved seeing so many familiar faces at our 35th Anniversary Parties in Helena, Red Lodge, Glasgow, and Missoula. If you have not been able to join us, we hope that you will be able to attend one of our upcoming celebrations in Polson, Billings, and Bozeman. LCFs are a critical piece of this milestone, so we appreciate being able to celebrate with you. You can RSVP at the links below or call us at (406) 443-8313.

Donation Receipt Process

Timely and accurate donation receipts are central to effective fundraising for your endowment. Donation receipts serve several purposes: they help you steward your donors, track your donations, and cover your bases with the IRS. As a result, we want to clarify MCF’s donation receipt process to ensure it fits with your LCF’s own process. When we receive a donation for your endowment, we provide a donation receipt with tax-compliant language to the donor. If you would like to see an example, you can do so here. We also email your LCF’s fund representative so you are aware of the donation, or you can see these at any time on MCF’s Fundholder Portal.

Your LCF can, and should, also follow up with donors. However, tailoring this as a “thank you” with a more personal note from your LCF will ensure that it is not duplicative of MCF’s donation receipt. Plus, this will allow your donors to connect with your LCF and hear about the impact of their donation! Below is an example of a “thank you” postcard, but you could also follow up with a handwritten note, personalized email, or a quick phone call. Check out these 11 Creative Ways to Thank a Donor.

Do you have other questions about MCF’s processes? If so, please let Taylor know at or (406) 603-4913. We want to clarify these, so they are not a mystery for your LCF.

Investment Update: How is Our Endowment Doing?

Are you curious about how your endowment is invested and how those investments are doing? If so, below is a recording of the webinar MCF hosted in May with Cambridge Associates, our Outsourced Chief Investment Office, that provides an overview of their investment approach and the endowed pool’s portfolio performance.

Update on Recent Changes to Community Impact Fee

Community Impact Fees provide MCF with funding that enables us to meet our mission: to cultivate a culture of giving so Montana communities can flourish. The MCF Board of Directors annually reviews and adjusts, when necessary, Community Impact Fees. At the June meeting, the Board made a few changes to the Community Impact Fees. The changes are effective July 1, 2023. The current Community Impact Fee Schedule can be found here. Fees for endowed Local Community Foundation Funds, endowed Donor Advised Funds, endowed Donor Designated Funds, and Agency Funds remain unchanged. Changes affect the following fund types:

  • The annual fee for planned gifts up to $1 million is 2.5%.
  • The annual fee on non-permanent funds is now 3%.
  • The annual fee for planned gifts made through the Partners for Montana’s Future program has increased by 0.25%.

For questions, please contact us at (406) 443-8313 or

LCFs in the News

Across Montana, LCFs are tackling countless projects – and many of them have received great news coverage for their hard work! Check out the articles below to see what other LCFs have been up to. News coverage is a great way to let community members know who you are and what you have been up to. Who knows, you may even attract some new donors!

Want to see more about your local community foundation in the news? If so, please reach out to Taylor at or (406) 603-4913. We can brainstorm ways to promote your efforts, like writing press releases or pitching stories to your local newspaper.

Resources and Opportunities

Below are some programs and funding opportunities that may be of interest. Please feel free to share them with others in your community as well!

  • MNA’s Nonprofit Resource Library: If your LCF is looking for sample forms and policies on a number of topics – ranging from fundraising to financial management to succession planning – check out MNA’s free Nonprofit Resource Library. In addition, MNA hosts MNA Connect, which is a community forum for nonprofits to ask specific questions and share resources.
  • Reimagining Rural Inspiration Hour: If your community is thinking about how to paint a mural, rehab an old building, or create a trail network, then check out these one-hour webinars from Reimagining Rural. The webinars take place on the third Wednesday of each month from 11:30 am - 12:45 pm, or you can find the recordings online to watch at your convenience.
  • Headwaters Foundation’s Go! Grants: If your LCF is in Western Montana and working on projects that promote health for children and families in rural communities, then you may be a good fit for a $7,500 General Operating (GO!) Grant from Headwaters Foundation. More information can be found on their Grant FAQs.
  • Ag West's Rural Community Grants: If your LCF is involved in community improvement projects, check out this grant opportunity. Rural Community Grants have funded community parks and community buildings, among other projects. Grants up to $5,000 are available and applications are reviewed monthly.

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