HELENA — An anonymous donor has pledged $80,000 in matching funds for the Montana Community Foundation (MCF) COVID recovery efforts if the organization can raise the same amount by the end of May.
MCF’s Disaster Relief Fund has previously helped with communities that were affected by wildfire, flooding and other disaster events. The organization is actively looking at ways to use the funding to support rural Montana communities that were the worst hit by the pandemic.
“Montana has had various emergencies that we’ve used this fund for. Whether that’s wildfires to getting hay to ranchers during a blizzard to now COVID-19 recovery,” said MCF President and CEO Mary Rutherford.
Rutherford says this COVID aid is specifically designed to help communities recover once the pandemic subsides.
“It’s also really about serving those communities that don’t have specific infrastructure to have their own dedicated fund. It’s serving the under-served and smaller communities in our state,” added Rutherford. “What we know in these rural communities is that they’re all driven by volunteers. Very few of them have a formalized nonprofit organization with paid staff with all of those systems in place.”
Rural and Native American Montana communities have been some of the greatest impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.
If MCF is able to raise the $80,000 by the end of May, the COVID relief effort by the organization will have around $500,000 to directly benefit smaller and rural Montana communities.
When grants are awarded the only criteria is that it will need to be spent in a charitable way under state and federal law for the betterment of the community regarding pandemic recovery.
More information of how to help can be found on the Montana Community Foundation website.