Endow Montana is a project of the Montana Nonprofit Association with support from the Montana Community Foundation. The goal of the project is to advance charitable giving in Montana through endowment building.

In September of 2008 after 12 years of service, the Governor's Task Force on Endowments and Philanthropy handed over responsibility for promoting philanthropy and the development of endowments in Montana to the Montana Nonprofit Association (MNA).

History of the Governor's Task Force on Endowments and Philanthropy

On November 16, 1994, Montana Governor Marc Racicot invited representatives of national, regional and local philanthropic foundations, nonprofit agencies, private business, as well as active community volunteers who share a concern for the financial future of Montana to his home to explore the potential of endowed philanthropy to provide a secure future for Montana. (Endowed philanthropy simply means using endowments to support charitable purposes.)

The Governor chose to focus on endowed philanthropy because it appeared to offer a tangible, practical, and achievable means for Montana to renew a spirit of giving and sense of community, thereby setting the course for its own destiny.

Participants at that first conversation on Endowed Philanthropy agreed that endowed philanthropy would provide an increasingly important vehicle to help Montana communities achieve the financial security to devise and implement their own best strategies and solutions. At the end of the conversation, the Governor appointed a Task Force on Endowed Philanthropy whose role was to:

  1. Provide the leadership for a thorough examination of options and recommendation of the proper roles for the State of Montana in promoting and encouraging endowed philanthropy.
  2. Deliberate, prioritize, and help implement the best options for Montana.
  3. Communicate its progress and findings to the Governor and to the people of Montana.
  4. Establish a time line and assign responsibilities for accomplishing its work.

In the 12 years of its operation, the Governor's Task Force on Endowments and Philanthropy had remarkable impact on giving to charities in Montana. Planned gifts by individuals and outright gifts by businesses added millions of dollars to the permanent endowments of nonprofits in Montana. Policymakers encouraged this through unique and innovative tax incentives, most specifically the Qualified Endowment Tax Credit. Together, as partners in the private, public and nonprofit sectors the Governor’s Task Force on Endowments and Philanthropy inspired Montanans to give generously in order to make Montana a better place to live, now and in the future.