Whitefish Community Foundation awarded more than $5 million to 70 Flathead Valley nonprofit organizations during the Great Fish Awards Celebration Monday evening. The total amount awarded included $4,254,259 donated by 2,730 donors during the six-week Great Fish Community Challenge, plus $808,405 from the Great Fish Match Fund.
The Great Fish Match is made possible by Whitefish Community Foundation’s Circle of Giving and those who donated to the match fund during the Challenge. This year’s percentage match was the largest in the history of the Challenge at 59 percent on the first $20,000 raised by each nonprofit, resulting in a maximum matching grant of $11,800 per organization. Whitefish Community Foundation also awarded $17,450 in incentive grants throughout the Challenge, bringing the grand total awarded through this year’s Great Fish Community Challenge to $5,080,113, a 21 percent increase over last year.
“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of everyone who gave in this year’s Challenge and supported the critical work of our local nonprofits,” Whitefish Community Foundation President and CEO Linda Engh-Grady said. “The Great Fish Community Challenge has become a very necessary and efficient platform to help local nonprofits raise critical funding and awareness.”
The Great Fish Community Challenge is a charitable giving campaign that offers donors the opportunity to give to multiple organizations with one transaction. Whitefish Community Foundation organizes and administers the Challenge free of charge for qualifying nonprofits. The estimated cost of this year’s Challenge was approximately $309,559, a value of over $4,400 to each participating nonprofit. Since 2015, the Great Fish Community Challenge has raised over $22 million for more than 85 Flathead Valley charities.
In addition to the $5 million distributed at the Great Fish Awards Event, Whitefish Community Foundation presented numerous special awards Monday evening, including the $7,500 Great Fish Award given annually to an organization that demonstrates tremendous leadership and dedication toward advancing their mission and impacting the critical needs in local communities. Flathead Warming Center was selected as the 2022 Great Fish Award recipient for the organization’s work to save lives, link resources and encourage dignity through low-barrier access to a warm, safe place for those in need.