What is Whitefish Community Foundation?
Whitefish Community Foundation has been helping donors make smart giving decisions and nonprofits become more effective in their work since 2000. The Foundation manages over $50 million in assets, and our annual collaborative event called the Great Fish Community Challenge, has raised over $22 million in just eight years to benefit local nonprofits. Over the course of our work, we have helped donors give more effectively through our Donor Advised Fund Program and built sustainability for nonprofits with our Permanent Endowment Program. We exist to improve the quality of life in our local communities for everyone.
Whitefish Community Foundation is dedicated to fostering philanthropy, building endowments, and helping donors and nonprofits benefit our communities.
The Whitefish Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, EIN # 81-0833002. We are able to accept donations through a variety of means. Donations are tax-deductible under state and federal tax laws and may be made over the phone by calling 406-863-1781; mailed to P.O. Box 1060, Whitefish, MT 59937; or online on our secure donations page.
What is Whitefish Community Foundation?
We are a MEANS through which GENEROSITY is MAXIMIZED
Where GIVING TOGETHER creates Impact
Where FUTURES are made BETTER for All
Where the COMMUNITY is INSPIRED
Some of Our Services
- Community Grant Program – This annual grant program makes awards based on community impact and organizational capacity. Nonprofits can apply for up to $10,000 annually for capital projects and programs.
- Donor-Advised Fund Program – Simplifies charitable giving, offering due diligence in grantmaking, competitive fees, advanced investment programs, and secure access to funding activity online.
- Great Fish Community Challenge – Inspires our Community to give during this annual Challenge that has raised over $22M in just seven years running for more than 85 Flathead Valley charities. WCF provides a percentage matching grant on the first $20,000 raised by each nonprofit.
Kids Fund–Giving Voice to Children – is an expanding program now in its third year, addressing the needs of children experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. The Kids Fund targets needs in the area of education, health, and safety with the goal of creating lasting life changes for homeless youth. In 2022, The Kids Fund allocated grants totaling $86,146 to CASA for Kids, Flathead Youth Home, and Boys and Girls Club of Glacier County to address needs in youth advocacy, case management, and after-school support.
- Endowment Program – Builds sustainability for local nonprofit organizations and allows donors to take advantage of the Montana Endowment Tax Credit to help build Montana Permanent Endowment Funds.
- Legacy Funds – Establish a lasting legacy that benefits the charities a donor(s) has enjoyed supporting during their lifetime. A Legacy Fund will give according to your wishes in perpetuity and allow you to be remembered for your support.
Whitefish Community Foundation is audited by JCCS of Kalispell. Audit reports are available upon request. Our annual 990 filing is available for download here
Meet the Whitefish Community Foundation Team
Whitefish Community Foundation’s Board of Directors is comprised of 18 community members who are actively involved with the Foundation’s investment management, governance, grant programs, and development. The Emeritus Board is comprised of past board members willing to stay involved in an advisory capacity and serve on committees.
Meet the Staff
Whitefish Community Foundation Staff is comprised of five dedicated people who are passionate about helping our local nonprofits succeed for the good of the community.
Meet our Team
Established in 2000, Whitefish Community Foundation serves philanthropists, nonprofit organizations in the greater Flathead Valley.
Area of Service
Whitefish Community Foundation expanded its mission in 2020 to incorporate its reach across the Flathead Valley. Since 2010, the Foundation has been benefiting charities in Whitefish and the Flathead. Today, it is providing support for organizations serving the critical needs in communities of the greater Flathead Valley.
The Community Foundation’s Board of Directors is comprised of 20 local individuals who are deeply involved with the Foundation’s work and the community. The Board of Directors bring a vast amount of knowledge to the Foundation. They are donors, fund holders, fundraisers, business owners, and entrepreneurs.
Foundation assets have grown to over $50 million in 2021. The Foundation has over $16M in permanently endowed assets and its own endowment fund is over $4.5M. Donor Advised Fund assets total more than $24M with the average fund size $510,000.
Whitefish Community Foundation’s Grant Programs have expanded to cover many needs in the greater Flathead Valley. The Foundation’s combined unrestricted grant programs award over $6M annually through the Community Grant Program, Great Fish Community Challenge, Micro Grants, Major Grants, Day of Giving & Unity and the Kids Fund Program.
WCF employs two full-time employees and three part-time employees. The Foundation staff has grown over the years to manage the growing number of programs offered. With the organization of the Great Fish Community Challenge, the WCF added two additional part-time employees and continues to use a seasonal special projects employee as the work warrants.
WCF currently has over 170 Funds. The Foundation offers Donor Advised, Designated, Agency, Endowment, Annuity, Scholarship, and Legacy Funds. A Legacy Fund can benefit a field of interest or be designated to specific charities. We also help donors take advantage of the Montana Endowment Tax Credit.
Number of Funds
Total Grants Awarded over 20 Years
Number of Nonprofits Benefited
Frequently Asked Questions
WHY DO WE NEED THE WHITEFISH COMMUNITY FOUNDATION?
Whitefish Community Foundation offers donors and nonprofits a resource for philanthropy. We provide nonprofits with a source for grant revenue, we help manage and grow nonprofit endowment funds, and we help encourage donors to give back to our community. For donors, we offer tax advantages and planned giving, we educate donors on where their money is needed and where they can make the most impact, and we offer simplified giving platforms with many advantages.
WHY SHOULD I GIVE TO WHITEFISH COMMUNITY FOUNDATION?
Whitefish Community Foundation offers donors a way to simplify their charitable giving:
- You can give through the Great Fish Community Challenge and maximize your gift to one or many of the participating charities and only have one tax receipt to retain.
- You can open a Donor Advised Fund which offers the convenience of making one gift and then granting the funds out over a period of time.
- Your gift to the Community Foundation helps to expand the important work of the Foundation’s many grant programs.
- Your gift to the Circle of Giving supports all the Foundation’s grant programs, including Major Community Projects, Emergency Grants, Community Grants, and the Great Fish Community Challenge that inspires the rest of our community to give.
DOES WHITEFISH COMMUNITY FOUNDATION COMPETE WITH LOCAL NONPROFITS FOR FUNDING?
No. Whitefish Community Foundation makes charitable giving easy for donors through its Donor Advised Fund Program. It also works with local nonprofits and donors through a giving platform that inspires the community to give during the Great Fish Community Challenge by offering a matching grant. Donors often get involved with the Community Foundation when they are short-term residents because it is a way for them to get involved with the community on a level that works for them.
WHY SHOULD I OPEN A FUND AT WHITEFISH COMMUNITY FOUNDATION?
Whitefish Community Foundation offers donors a professional Donor Advised Program that is convenient, easy to use and offers a very competitive low administration fee to manage your fund. You can access our community knowledge and find out what programs and nonprofits need. Your fund can be invested just like a commercial charitable fund but when you open a Donor Advised Fund with Whitefish Community Foundation, the low fees you pay will stay here and benefit your community.
CAN I RECOMMEND GRANTS TO CHARITIES OUTSIDE OF WHITEFISH FROM MY DONOR ADVISED FUND?
Yes, you can recommend a grant from your Donor Advised Fund to any 501(c)(3) charity in the United States and to qualifying international charities.
WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER A DONOR ADVISED FUND OVER A PRIVATE FOUNDATION?
There are several reasons to consider a Donor Advised Fund over a Private Foundation as your charitable giving tool:
- Whitefish Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and contributions receive the maximum tax advantage for contributions.
- Donor Advised Funds simplify your reporting and charitable giving because the Community Foundation takes care of everything and all you do is retain one tax receipt.
- Your Donor Advised Fund can be invested to grow over time and it is not subject to excise taxes. There is also no minimum amount you must give each year.
- When you open a Donor Advised Fund with the Community Foundation, you can access our community expertise and we do all the grant making due diligence for you.