Montana Grant Resources

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Montana’s Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park is well known to hikers and spelunking experts nationwide as the location of the most dramatically intricate limestone caverns in the Northwest. Tours are offered almost year-round.

What’s similar to exploring a limestone cave for treasures of spectacular beauty? Exploring the world of philanthropy for grants to support your nonprofit organization! When you’re underground, it sure helps to have a very bright light to find your way. When you’re above ground in the labyrinthine world of many funders, The Grantsmanship Training Program is the very bright light you’ll need.

The Grantsmanship Training Program is a fast-paced and inspiring 5-day workshop, packed with the skills-training and guidance you need to make your grant proposals shine and rise high above the rest.

But that’s not all! While finding the funders in your state and community is critically important, we help you go further by learning which funders to approach and then how to connect with them. This combination of high-caliber training and deep-down insights frequently makes the difference between getting funded or having your proposal left in the dark.

Here are three more steps for preparing outstanding proposals!

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Training may be in the planning stages right now, so subscribe if you’d like to be the first to know when it’s coming to your area. Or find out how easy is it to host our training and get your staff trained for free! Email Gail Brauner for information. We look forward to hearing from you!




Known officially as Big Sky Country, Montana is also Big Heart Country, where neighbors in every city and county get together to help one another through difficult challenges and take advantage of wonderful opportunities, especially for students. The creation of its network of community foundations has been a central pillar of these efforts. Click on the links below to learn more, and to learn how to approach these foundations and other groups for funding and other support.

Based in Helena, The Montana Community Foundation is a major, statewide resource for donors, potential donors and other community foundations, as well as for schools and nonprofit organizations. In partnership with its fellow regional foundations and donors, CFM has awarded more than $30 million in grants to worthy nonprofit recipients in just the past ten years.

The Whitefish Community Foundation is dedicated to providing support to schools and nonprofit organizations serving the critical needs of its local community. The Flathead Community Foundation in Kalispell, Billings Community FoundationGreater Polson Community Foundation and Missoula Community Foundation provide similar support in their areas. Several of these community foundations also provide vital training for nonprofit Board members, CEOs, accountants, fund developers, managers and supervisors.

In addition to community foundations, there are major corporations and individual donors making a big difference in the lives on Montanans through their philanthropy. The Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation, based in Missoula, contributed more than $31 million in 2016 to groups within their main interest areas throughout the state, which include Education, Health & Human Services, Arts & Culture, and Community Service.

Montana Healthcare Foundation (MHF), based in Great Falls, is one of the newest public foundations, created in 2013 as a result of the sale of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana. MHF’s mission is to “improve the health and well-being of all Montanans. MHCF contributes to a healthier state by making strategic investments that support access to quality and affordable health services, conducting evidence-driven research and analysis, and addressing the upstream influences on health and illness.”

The following are additional links for Montana grantseekers. Please let us know about others we might have missed so that this resource gets better and better. Thanks!


Government Offices:

Montana State Senator Jon Tester

(406) 449-5401 – Helena Office      (202) 224-2644 – Washington, DC Office

Montana State Senator Steve Daines

(406) 443-3189 – Helena Office      (202) 224-2651 – Washington, DC Office

Montana Governor Steve Bullock

(855) 318-1330 – Helena, Toll-Free

Governor's Office of Community Service

Montana Department of Justice - Office for Consumer Protection - For Nonprofits

Montana Department of Revenue

Montana Secretary of State - Domestic Nonprofit Corporations


Looking for regional and other statewide elected officials? Click on Find Your Representative here.


Other Helpful Organizations:

Association of Fundraising Professionals - Montana Chapter works to promote high ethical standards in the fundraising profession plus provide a network of support through educational opportunities, networking events and mentoring in most cities within the state, including Bozeman, Billings, Kalispell and Missoula.

Montana Nonprofit Association provides leadership for Montana's nonprofit sector statewide and partners with charitable nonprofits to promote a sustainable, networked, and influential sector.

Big Sky Institute for the Advancement of Nonprofits is a nonprofit research and leadership development organization serving Montana and neighboring states. Nonprofit organizations and communities in these very rural states face uniquely difficult obstacles because of their low population densities, challenged economies, and limited philanthropic and nonprofit sector resources. To help overcome these barriers, BSI develops organizational support systems for both the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors.

Hopa Mountain is committed to investing in rural and tribal citizen leaders as they improve aspects of their community, working primarily in the areas of early childhood education, informal science education, service-learning, ecological and human health, and nonprofit development.

Humanities Montana is an independent nonprofit organization that provides grants and programs on history, literature, Native American cultures, and more all over the state of Montana.

Montana Shares is a partnership of Montana-based nonprofit groups devoted to improving the quality of life in the communities throughout the state through networking, training, technical assistance, and fundraising support.

Philanthropy Northwest - Philanthropy Northwest is committed to helping community foundations in a six-state area succeed in their work through workshops, events, publications and networking opportunities. These resources help community foundation staff and trustees stay connected to the issues that affect their communities.

State Bar of Montana - Nonprofit Law Section

Volunteer Missoula is a website for nonprofits to list and describe volunteer opportunities available at their organizations. Community members can then head to the website and find volunteer opportunities that suit them and their skill set.

United Way in Montana provides ten local offices in cities around the state dedicated to improving lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities.

Western Montana Fundraisers Association

Serve Montana (part of the Governor's Office of Community Service) encourages citizens of all ages and backgrounds to engage in service. They have also has included us, among many other great organizations, in a Training and Technical Assistance Directory of trainers and consultants who are peer recommended, and have demonstrated support for the state service commission network, nonprofit organizations, and AmeriCorps programs.


What If We Can’t Use the Grant as Planned?

It’s not likely, but it happens, that a nonprofit wins a grant from a foundation only to discover that the money can’t be used as proposed. Maybe so much time has elapsed between the proposal and the award that the original problem no longer exists. Maybe there are no applicants for the scholarships that have been funded. Maybe community leaders have found another way to deliver services. Perhaps it will take longer than expected to complete the project.

The Many Facets of Your Clients: Intersectionality

Nonprofits addressing economic and social justice themes—in fact, virtually all nonprofits—ought to be familiar with the term. It was introduced by scholar and advocate Kimberle Williams Crenshaw in 1989 and it has its roots in civil rights activism and scholarship, and in the lives and lessons of DuBois, Douglass and Truth. And it’s turning up in the conversations between funders, community organizations and others who want to use grants to change the world.

Nonprofit Myths: #11 - Taking Gifts Back

MYTH: If I give a building, vehicle, computer, book I wrote, or whatever to the nonprofit and later close the nonprofit, I can just change the copyright, deed, or title back into my name again, or take the property back.

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