Donor Story

Loren and Michelle Brown

November 10, 2020

For Loren and Michelle Brown, giving back to their community just feels like the natural thing to do.

Loren can still recall watching his parents, both teachers, modeling what it means to give back as he was growing up in Helena. “I remember my parents putting money in the offering plate at church and buying extra food at the grocery store to bring to the local food bank. It instilled in me a desire to help my community and the less fortunate.”

Loren and his wife, Michelle, share this value of generosity. Both have been active in their community since a young age, Loren as a Boy Scout and Michelle as an active member of 4-H. They continue to support local organizations with both their time and money through board service, volunteer work, and financial contributions.

In 2014, Loren and Michelle gave their first gift to Montana Community Foundation in the form of a Deferred Gift Annuity (DGA) to provide future benefit to their Donor Advised Fund. Last year, after the 5-year waiting period, they were able to relinquish future rights to annuity payments and can now make grants from the newly opened Brown Family Endowment Fund.

According to Loren, “Though we continue to contribute to the immediate needs of our favorite charities, Michelle and I see this endowment as a way to provide another level of support to the organizations we care about, especially when hard times hit such as we’re seeing with the current crisis. We understand that many organizations do not have the means to manage an endowment. Montana Community Foundation provided the avenue for us to set up a fund that will give organizations a continual source of revenue, beyond their annual fundraising. Plus, we get the added tax benefit. This method of giving means we can continue to support our community even on the years we don’t have the same capacity to give, and long after we’re gone.”

In addition to a donation to the Boy Scouts Endowment Fund, Loren and Michelle have continued to make planned gifts each year to ultimately benefit their Donor Advised Fund. Each planned gift will help the endowment grow, increasing the impact it will have on Montana communities forever.