Great Fish Logo


Donor frequently asked questions

The Great Fish Community Challenge embodies the spirit of philanthropy and is inspiring our community to give.

The Great Fish Challenge Match Fund is comprised of gifts from generous individuals that see the value of philanthropy because of what it can do to change lives. Donations come from our Circle of Giving donors and donations made straight to the Match Fund.

The 2021 Percentage Match came out to 56% on the first $20,000 raised by each participating nonprofit. Nonprofits that raised at least $20,000 received an additional $11,200 grant from Whitefish Community Foundation.

 By making your gift to the Great Fish Challenge Match Fund, or joining the Circle of Giving you will help inspire more individuals to give during the Challenge.

Challengers have contributed more than $3.2 million to match the community’s donations over the past seven years of the Great Fish Community Challenge, stretching philanthropic dollars even further. These contributions truly inspire thousands of local citizens to give millions of dollars through the campaign. 

Frequently Asked Questions


The percentage varies annually and is based on the total amount of match money raised and the total amount of designated contributions. The first $20,000 of each nonprofit’s designated gifts are eligible for matching, and in recent years, the matching grant on these gifts has been approximately 48% to 56%. The percentage of the Match will not be known until the campaign is over and the Match is calculated. All eligible participating organizations receive the same percent of matching dollars on the first $20,000 in designated contributions they raise.


100% of contributions (minus any credit card fees) are distributed to nonprofits designated by donors (subject to Whitefish Community Foundation’s variance power) along with a percentage matching grant on the first $20,000 raised on their behalf. A nonprofit must raise a minimum of $10,000 to receive a percentage match.


Whitefish Community Foundation starts the Match with $300,000. This initial money comes from the Circle of Giving. The Match fund grows as more individuals join the Circle and as more individuals give directly to the Great Fish Challenge Match Fund (Challengers).


Make a gift to the Great Fish Challenge Match Fund. By making your gift to the Match, or joining the Circle of Giving you will help to inspire more individuals to give during the Challenge. Because the Match Fund is integral to the success of the Great Fish Community Challenge, you can make a gift at anytime during the year.  Your gift of any amount will help the Whitefish Community Foundation match each gift that is made through the Great Fish Community Challenge.

What is a Community Donor

A Community Donor gives to one or more participating nonprofits to help the selected charities build up a pool of designated community donations. By donating through the Great Fish Community Challenge during the giving period, the impact of each donor’s gift is augmented through the additional funding provided by the Great Fish Match Fund in the form of a percentage matching grant. At the end of the Challenge, the match is stretched across the amount of gifts raised by the nonprofits - up to $20,000 for each participating nonprofit. The final amount of the percentage match will be announced at the awards event October 17, 2022 at an awards event held on the deck at Whitefish Lake Restaurant.

When the giving period opens, it is easy to become a donor. Simply select your favorite charities, determine how much you wish to give them, and make one donation for the total designated amount. All gifts are made through the Whitefish Community Foundation. Gifts of all sizes are appreciated and when pooled together, they create serious impact for each nonprofit.

What is a Challenger

Challengers are individuals and businesses who donate to the Great Fish Match Fund. This money forms the match pool benefiting all participating nonprofits. The Match Fund is used to match the donations of the community. Challengers give a direct gift of any amount to the Great Fish Match Fund.

Challengers can be proud to call themselves community leaders who are helping to promote charitable giving. The Great Fish Community Challenge highlights the tremendous work of local nonprofits and inspires community appreciation for that work.

The Circle of Giving is the core group of donors that seed the Match Fund with the initial $300,000 at the beginning of the year. As more donors join the Circle of Giving, or give directly to the Match Fund, the match grows.

For information about the Great Fish Challenge Match Fund or how to join the Circle of Giving, contact Linda Engh-Grady at 406-863-1781.

Circle of Giving Logo Green

Meet the circle of giving

Anonymous (1)
AGL Foundation
Teri and Jeff Allen
Kate and Chip Andrews
Brent Appelgren
Val and Beau Armstrong
Carol and Richard Atkinson
Lisa and Bob Bailey
Julie and Summerfield Baldridge
Ledjie and Phillip Ballard
Sharon and Dean Baltzell
Charlene and Stephen Barasch
Trish and Rick Bartoskewitz
Cindy and Mogens Bay
Betsy and Bill Bayne
Dee and Jim Beightol
Tierney and Jon Beizer
Linda and Terry Bell
Bonnie and Rick Billuni
Mary Ann and Bill Bindley
Sandy and Dick Boyce
Tara and Matt Brister
Beth and Jerome Broussard
Rockwood Brown in Memory of Marilyn
Lindsey and Todd Burris
Dorothy and Luther Campbell
Eileen Bocci Campbell
Missy and Pat Carloss
Janice and James Case
Maureen Casey
Jane Kollmeyer and Terry Chute
Marie and Brian Clark
Nadine and Braydon Coburn
Dyan and Michael Colby
C.K. and Jim Coles
Anne and John Collins
Linda Cornutt
Stacy and Michael Covey
Katherine and Gordon Cross
Beverly and Larry Dale
Scott Darkenwald
Candy and Eddie DeBartolo
Jane and Gary Decker
Lynnette and Mark Donaldson
Debbie and Robert Douglas
Nora and Blake Dunlop
Kate and Ross Dworman

First Interstate Bancsystem Foundation
Michael Fraser
Fun Beverage
Barbara and Mike Gallagher
Laura and James Garbacz
Kathy and Greg Garrison
Marion and Duff Gerrish
Tanya and Judah Gersh
Adele Goldberg
Cheryl Watkins and Dick Gordon
Linda Engh-Grady and Dave Grady
Cindy Granmo
Colleen and Peter Grant
Sarah and John Graves
Cameron Blake and Sandy Gray
Cindy and Joe Gregory
Shirley and John Griffith
Jill and Christopher Gwaltney
Jes and John Hagale
Mary Lloyd and Dick Harding
Stephanie and Fred Harman
Margo and Gary Harrod
Shannon and Brian Haycox
Kelly and Robert Hayes
Patty and Bob Hayes
Jill and Grant Henderson
Suzanne Daniell Hildner and Richard Hildner
Cheryl and Brad Howard
Ila B. Dousman Fund
Iron Horse Foundation
Barbara and Mike Jenson
Ann and Paul Jeremiassen
Ann and Bill Jones
Brenda and Jonny Jones
Robyn and Mark Jones
Rachel Kelton
Maureen and John King
Jon McBride and John Kramer
Julie Williams and Marshal Kushniruk
Mignon and Jay Latimer
Gerry and Frank Leftwich
Sherry and Dave Lesar
Maureen Bolton and Edwin Lojeski
Kristen Sramek and Josh Lozman
Linda and Charlie Maetzold
Allison and Rick Magnuson
Mary and Patrick Mansfield

Janet Mayo
Rhona and Jerry Meislik
Abbie Milisci
Lori Miller
Ellen and Matt Moran
Barbara Morris
Nicola Opdycke
Claudine and Thomas Origitano
Sandy and Dan Perl
Coco and Ross Pickert
Blanche Puffer
Quinn Family
Melinda and Rick Reed
Nikki and Doug Reed
Sue and Hank Ricklefs
Karen and Ron Rosenberg
Kim and George Ruhana
Char Rygg
Stacy Schlinger
Mark Schmidt
Marie and Michael Shaw
Janna and Jamie Shennan
Austine and Vassilis Siomos
Ashley and G. Stacy Smith
Linda Smith
Lucy Smith
Carole and Roger Spragg

Lisa and Jim Stack

Margy and Rob Stevens

Nancy and David Stokes
Jill and Jim Stroud
Meg and Chris Temple
Kristen and John VanDenburgh
Linda and Andy Viens
Lori and Robb Voyles
Dori and Bill Walton
Katie and Ben Ward
Leslie and Mike Warning
Boots and Alan Warrick
Carol Bibler and Jim Watson
Byrdie and Ken Wessels
Ardy and Steve Whisler
Judy and David Williams
Mary and Hal Williamson
Bet and Doug Wise
Susan and John Witt
Debra Wolf