Our Mission

The Seeley Lake Community Foundation engages philanthropy, provides leadership, and enhances the quality of life and economic vitality of the Seeley Lake area.

What is the Seeley Lake Community Foundation?

The Seeley Lake Community Foundation brings together people and organizations that want to make a positive impact in the world. We’re a locally driven and locally supported foundation that invests in the health and prosperity of this community, dedicated to improving the well being of the residents of Seeley Lake, Montana.

We’re a 501c3 nonprofit that guides philanthropy and helps build and strengthen community. In a town without a consolidated government, the Seeley Lake Community Foundation plays a unique role: we serve as a resource for local organizations, a clearinghouse for knowledge of community needs and opportunities, a hub for charitable giving, and a mechanism for savvy, collaborative solutions to local issues.

We collect charitable gifts of cash, assets, property, etc. and pool these gifts for the future betterment of a community. Most of these contributions are placed into an endowment fund where future investment income is distributed as grants to local charitable or public organizations.  The fund is maintained in perpetuity and continues to grow with each new gift, generating income to meet a wide range of community interests and needs for years to come.

Each year, SLCF gives grants to nonprofits for local projects, offers the Change Your Pace Challenge, a community fundraiser encouraging giving to local groups, and coordinates I Ride, a medical appointment van shuttle, supplying a critical unmet need for many of Seeley Lake’s seniors and disabled.

The Seeley Lake Community Foundation exists to support local nonprofit organizations, and connect and grow resources for the Seeley Lake area. In this capacity, SLCF strives to be a community resource and a catalyst for innovative approaches to improving the quality of life here.

Your support of the Foundation helps ensure the vitality of this community for future generations.

How is the Seeley Lake Community Foundation different from other nonprofit organizations?

A major function of the Seeley Lake Community Foundation is to operate as a savings account for the entire community’s benefit. A large portion of our funds grow in a permanently restricted endowment account which earns interest. Distributions from the endowment support worthwhile charitable community causes, but the principal of the endowed fund remains intact to grow for future generations. SLCF works with the Montana Community Foundation to invest and administer these endowment funds.

As a tax-exempt public charity, we are a trusted steward of local charitable assets, with the ability to accept donations and make grants to effective nonprofits. We can help donors create permanent charitable funds to help our community meet the challenges of changing times.

What organizations do we support?

The Seeley Lake Community Foundation has granted over $870,000 since 2003 to support charitable causes that strengthen our region. Grants are made to a variety of local organizations supporting arts & culture, community & economic development, basic human needs, education, and natural resources & conservation. For our most recent grant recipients, please see our Community Grants page.

Our annual Change Your Pace Challenge is an opportunity to help bring funds to local groups, by encouraging community members to donate to their favorite organizations with one form.

We’re excited to be a leader in facilitating innovative projects for this incredible place!

Who are our donors?

Our donors are the individuals, families, businesses, and private foundations who wish to make a difference in the lives of others and support their community. Donors range from people of modest means to those with substantial financial resources, but all share a love of this special place, nestled between exquisite mountains and along a string of incredible lakes!

Our Values

These three values define our promise to the Seeley Lake community:

Collaboration and Cooperation
We appreciate the power of partnerships with organizations and individuals to create solutions that improve our community.

Leadership
We seek to provide leadership in our community by developing innovative approaches to solving community issues and by encouraging other groups to support our efforts.

Ethics
We will always carry out our mission with honesty, transparency and integrity.  We will protect donor intent and identity and always treat applicants and recipients with respect.

Our bylaws serve as the guiding document of the Seeley Lake Community Foundation. SLCF has established policies to ensure federal requirements for governing a charitable non-profit organization, including a conflict of interest policy are met.

Our history

The Seeley Lake Community Foundation was founded in 1999 by a handful of local residents who wanted to give back to their community. What started from a single, $250 donation has now grown into an endowment of more than $500,000 dedicated to the Seeley Lake Community.

A handful of community leaders came together, believing their community could rally and do more. Those six included three local small business owners, an economist, a teacher and the manager of the sawmill. Their idea was both simple and audacious: create a community foundation that would attract and invest funds in improving the quality of life in Seeley Lake, Montana.

See our Leadership Projects page for more information on projects for Seeley Lake we’ve helped spearhead over the last 20 years!