Great Fish Community Challenge

Nonprofit Information

Great Fish Label


Nonprofits that participate in the Great Fish Community Challange receive 100% of gifts that donors designate for them, as well as a matching grant from Whitefish Community Foundation. Participating nonprofits are responsible for adhering to all Rules & Procedures.



You will need to have a Guidestar Profile of at least Bronze Level to participate. Levels of participation expire on Guidestar so be sure to double check your organization’s profile is current.

UPLOAD YOUR 2019 990

Returning nonprofits must upload their 2019 signed, and filed Form 990 or 990-EZ when applying for participation. Nonprofits applying for the first time will not be required to submit a Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Determine your use of funds

Organizations must designate how they will spend funds raised during the campaign. Gifts received during the campaign must be allocated to your Primary and/or Secondary Use of Funds.


You will need to submit a Project or Program Budget, a Budget vs. Actual P&L Statement for the most recently completed fiscal year, and a two-year comparative Balance Sheet. Make sure your net income on your P&L matches your Balance Sheet.

2021 Important Dates

January 19th
Initial Great Fish Community Challenge meeting for all new and old nonprofits applying for the 2021 Great Fish Community Challenge. This meeting is mandatory for any nonprofits applying for the Great Fish Community Challenge 2021 who have not participated before. Click here to view the slides from the meeting.

April 19th
Great Fish Community Challenge Application Period Opens: Applications are submitted online through the Whitefish Community Foundation online portal.

April 21st and May 11th
TIME AND LOCATION TBD – Application Workshop: Optional workshop at the Whitefish Community Foundation office for nonprofits requiring assistance with the Great Fish Community Challenge application.  Please email us to register for this training.

May 27th
Great Fish Community Challenge Application Period Closed 4 p.m.

June 29th
TIME AND LOCATION TBD – Mandatory kick-off meeting for all nonprofits participating in the 2021 Great Fish Community Challenge. This meeting may be held by Zoom Video Conferencing. Please stay tuned for registration instructions.

August 5th
Great Fish Community Challenge Launch Party at 5 p.m. and Start of Giving Season: Details to be announced.

Look for POP-UP Booths throughout the seven week campaign. Drop off your donation at any official Pop-Up booth and you will be entered into the drawing to win one of the weekly $500 incentive grants for your favorite charity.  Visit Incentive Grants for more information.

September 11th
Great Fish Fun Run and Community Celebration

September 17th
5:00 P.M. – Donation Deadline & End of Giving Season: Final day to donate through the Great Fish Community Challenge. The online donation portal will close at 5:00 P.M. Donations received after this time will not count towards the match.

October 25th
5:00 to 7:00 P.M. – Great Fish Community Challenge Awards Presentation – Mandatory: Celebrate all the Great Fish Community Challenge does for our community, find out what the percentage match is for 2021, and receive your final check! (Representative from participating nonprofits must attend to pick up grant checks. Failure to pickup checks will result in forfeiture of matching grants.)

All dates are subject to change.

2021 Great Fish Community Challenge

Nonprofit FAQ


Organizations will invite donors to give through the Great Fish Community Challenge during the giving period of the campaign and to include their organization on the official donor form or through the online donation portal.  Donations MUST be payable to the Whitefish Community Foundation AND be accompanied by an official donor form or made through the online donation portal.  The Community Foundation processes the gifts and acknowledges donors with a tax receipt.  Organizations will receive 100% of the designated gifts. There is a 2.9% to 3.5% fee assessed to credit card gifts only by the processor. Donors have the option to help cover this fee when checking out. At the end of the Challenge, the Foundation calculates a percentage match on the first $20,000 raised by the charity.


No. Organizations must apply to participate but there is no fee to participate.  Whitefish Community Foundation covers all of the costs of the campaign including: advertising, marketing, administration, gift processing, and the Fun Run and Community Celebration on September 11th. Gifts that are made by credit card are assessed the credit card processing fee, currently 2.9% to 3.5%. Gifts made by check, cash, IRA Rollover, and stock gifts are not assessed a fee.

  • Support and promote your participation in the Great Fish Community Challenge to the public, as well as to your board members, donors, and volunteers.
  • Nonprofits should promote the Challenge through their usual marketing efforts, on their website, and through other public outreach opportunities.
  • Developing special events to raise funds specifically for the Great Fish Community Challenge is prohibited. The idea behind the Great Fish Community Challenge is to cut down on fundraising expenses and events not add to it.
  • Host a booth at the Great Fish Community Challenge Fun Run and Community Celebration on September 11, 2021.
  • Be willing to serve on one of the many event committees.
  • Write personal thank you notes to your donors who make donations to your organization through the Great Fish Community Challenge.
  • Receive and process all gifts made through the Challenge on behalf of the nonprofit and provide a tax receipt to the donor.
  • Provide marketing and public relations support to create community awareness of the Great Fish Community Challenge.
  • Include the participating nonprofits’ Use of Funds statement in its printed materials.
  • Solicit contributors to the match pool, known as the Great Fish Match Fund.
  • Oversee the Great Fish Community Challenge Fun Run and Community Celebration.

All eligible contributions are passed on to participating organizations that the donors designate (subject to the Whitefish Community Foundation Variance Power), along with a percentage match on the first $20,000 raised on their behalf. Each participating nonprofit will have a designated fund at the Community Foundation where funds will accumulate for your organization. You will receive login information in order to access your fund balance and view the names and addresses of donors who have contributed to your fund.


Each nonprofit will have its own fund with the Foundation and 24/7 online access to that fund.  Nonprofits can access the online portal by clicking here.  Once logged in, nonprofits will be able to monitor donations throughout the campaign and write personal thank you notes to donors. Do not send a tax receipt. The Whitefish Community Foundation receives all donations and will send tax receipts.


Nonprofits should promote their participation in the Challenge through their usual marketing efforts, and encourage supporters to donate during the campaign. Use social media to promote your participation and include the Great Fish Community Challenge in your email communication, along with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Please use direct mail thoughtfully, as there will likely be overlap among the nonprofit mailing lists (including the Community Foundation’s own list). Do not use purchased mailing lists or box-holder mailings. Only the Whitefish Community Foundation will mail the official brochure. You can use a postcard if you feel the need to remind your donors.


Whitefish Community Foundation Recognition & Logo Use: The Community Foundation’s name and logo should appear in publications and/or signage of any event funded by the grant. The Great Fish Community Challenge logo is available for download and can be accessed here.  The Great Fish Community Challenge postcards are available for download here.  See links below for additional sizes.
Do not alter the logo in any way and be sure that it always appears upright. The Foundation’s logo can be used in newspaper and/or TV advertisements; in newsletters, postcards, and brochures; and posted on website and social media channels. You may not use our logo on paid event tickets.

If you are using the logo in any type of advertising, please include the written acknowledgement below as well as the logo:

Please consider a donation designated to (name of your organization) through the Whitefish Community Foundation’s Great Fish Community Challenge


Please remember us in the Whitefish Community Foundation’s Great Fish Community Challenge

The Fine Print

  • *All donations are subject to the Community Foundation‘s variance power.
  • To ensure your gift is fully tax deductible, you may not receive any goods or services in return for your contribution.
  • Whitefish Community Foundation is a 501(c)3 Nonprofit Corporation, EIN#81-0533002.

*Variance Power.  Donations to the Great Fish Community Challenge are subject to the variance power described in Treas. Reg. Sec. 1.170.A-9(f)(11)(v)(B)(1), as amended from time to time. Pursuant to the variance power, the Whitefish Community Foundation Board of Directors shall have the power to modify any restriction or condition on the distribution of funds for any specified charitable purpose or to specified organizations, if in their sole judgment (without the approval of any advisor, trustee, custodian, or agent) such restriction or condition becomes, in effect, unnecessary, incapable of fulfillment, or inconsistent with the charitable needs of the Community Foundation.