Montana State University

MSU Extension to help grow community foundations in Montana

December 13, 2012 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
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BOZEMAN - Anaconda Local Development Corporation, in partnership with the Montana Community Foundation and Montana State University Extension, has been selected to receive federal funding to support local community foundation development in rural communities across Montana.

Through a $150,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Community Development Initiative Program (RCDI), Anaconda Local Development Corporation will provide technical assistance in areas of strategic planning, grant making, fundraising, endowment building, community collaboration, and leadership development to the Montana Community Foundation and Montana Extension agents.

"Anaconda Local Development has long believed that by partnering we can accomplish far more than by going it alone," said Jim Davison, Executive Director of the Anaconda Local Development Corporation. "We look forward to strengthening community foundations throughout Montana as well as the Anaconda Community Foundation in this effort."

At least 20 Extension agents and 18 community foundations will receive much-needed training over a three-year period. In turn, the Extension agents will provide training to foundations in their counties. As a result of the training, foundations will develop strategic plans that will help them achieve their missions to increase Montana's endowed community wealth.

Anaconda Local Development Corporation aims to support and improve the economic, social and cultural life of the community. ALDC was an early on partner in the development of the Anaconda Community Foundation and works to support planned philanthropy.

"The Montana Community Foundation has been working with 45 local affiliate foundations for seven years, providing training and asset development assistance," said Cathy Cooney, Local Community Foundation Program Director at the Montana Community Foundation. "We are so grateful to USDA and our partners and are looking forward to expanding our skills and the skills of all foundations in Montana."

Montana is home to 73 local foundations working to build permanent endowments that will provide continuous sources of revenue to meet community needs. A community foundation is a philanthropic institution with a long-term goal of building permanent funds established by many separate donors for the benefit of the residents of a local community.

In Montana, community foundations have over $80 million in assets under management and collectively grant more than $4 million each year to charitable organizations across the state.

"MSU Extension is excited to partner with ALDC and the Montana Community Foundation on this grant to build the capacity of local community foundations throughout Montana," said Betsy Webb, MSU Project Coordinator for the RCDI Grant. "Extension agents, who work and live within these communities, will be able to support the capacity building aims of this grant through leadership development, strategic planning, and educational services."

The RCDI program is designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

MSU Extension is a statewide educational outreach network that applies unbiased, research-based university resources to practical needs identified by the people of Montana in their home communities.

The Montana Community Foundation's mission is to cultivate a culture of giving so Montana communities can flourish. Founded in 1988, the Foundation has $60 million in assets under management and administers more than 500 philanthropic funds that make grants to charitable organizations and causes across the state. The Foundation serves as a center for philanthropy in Montana, working with donors, charitable organizations and communities to provide simple and effective ways to give back to Montana. Find out more at www.mtcf.org.

Contact: Betsy Webb, , associate director, MSU Extension Service Local Government Center, (406) 994-6680, elizabeth.webb@montana.edu