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MCF awards $31,000 in grants to local communities as they "ReImagine" what is possible


December 11, 2020

The Montana Community Foundation, Inc. (MCF) is awarding over $31,000 in “ReImagine What is Possible” grants to local community foundations and organizations that participated in the second installment of ReImagining Rural (RR2), a partnership with the First Interstate Bank Foundation, the Governor’s Office of Montana, the Burton K. Wheeler Center, and Montana State University Extension. This year, RR2 was offered through a virtual platform, welcoming over 200 people from communities throughout Montana.

Throughout three separate sessions, participants heard from experts that dispelled the notion that rural communities are dying and shared research and examples for how rural communities can create a vital future for themselves.

“We are so happy that local leaders in twenty-four communities were able to hear the positive messages shared throughout this event,” says Tara Mastel, MSU Extension. “Hearing the positive messages about rural communities, such as families are moving back to rural communities, the idea that we live in the middle of everywhere and how desirable rural living is, changed the perspective of event participants about their town and motivated them to take on some exciting new projects.”

As an incentive to capitalize on what they learned during these sessions, community foundations and other local organizations that participated in the event were able to submit grant applications for funding to support the development of their community projects. Grant awards were between $1,000-$2,000.

Grant recipients were: Bear Paw Development Corporation; Blaine County 4-H Council; Carter County Geological Society; City of Shelby, Montana; Dawson County Economic Development Council; Eastern Plains Economic Council; Fort Belknap Community Economic Development Corporation; Laurel Montana Community Foundation Incorporated; Missouri Valley Marketing; Phillips County Community Foundation; Powder River Trails; Rosebud County; Seeley Lake Community Foundation; Stillwater County; Montana State University Extension Deer Lodge County; Musselshell Valley Community Foundation.

“We hope these grants encourage these local leaders to take what they have learned and apply it to their own communities, ensuring the resiliency and vitality of these rural areas we love,” says Mary Rutherford, President and CEO. “This is how we ensure a strong future for Montana and the generations of Montanans to come.”

Montana Community Foundation’s (MCF) mission is to cultivate a culture of giving so Montana communities can flourish. Founded in 1988, MCF manages over $125 million in assets and administers more than 1,300 philanthropic funds and planned gifts. MCF’s accreditation through the Council on Foundations’ National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations ensures MCF complies with the strictest standards in gift administration and grantmaking. Since its founding, MCF has reinvested more than $41 million in Montana through grants to charitable organizations and causes across the state. MCF serves as a center for philanthropy in Montana, working with donors, charitable organizations, and communities to provide simple and effective ways to give back to Montana.


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