The Great Fish Community Challenge set a new fundraising record this year with a preliminary total of $3.6 million donated to 61 Flathead Valley nonprofit organizations between Aug. 5 and Sept. 17.

“It has been so exciting to see many of the charities raise $80,000 or more to support their programs through this platform,” Whitefish Community Foundation President Linda Engh-Grady said. “The Great Fish Community Challenge demonstrates how much power there is in giving together.”

This year’s Challenge raised approximately $1 million more than last year, a 38 percent increase. Since 2013, the Challenge has raised over $16.5 million for more than 78 local nonprofit organizations.

The Whitefish Community Foundation will award a percentage matching grant on the first $20,000 raised by each organization in the Challenge. The Great Fish Match Fund comes from donors in the Community Foundation’s Circle of Giving with additional funds coming from the donations made straight to the Match Fund during the campaign. Whitefish Community Foundation will release the final amount raised in the Challenge and announce the percentage matching grant on Oct. 18 after all campaign gifts have been reconciled.

The Great Fish Community Challenge is a six-week charitable giving campaign that offers donors the opportunity to give to multiple organizations with one transaction. In addition to awarding a percentage matching grant to participating nonprofit organizations, Whitefish Community Foundation underwrites the cost of hosting the Challenge with sponsorships from BNSF, Big Sky IV Care, First Interstate Bank, Glacier Bank, Glacier Payments, Iron Horse Foundation, JCCS, Park Side Credit Union, and Underscore Art & Jewelry.