Investing in the future of your community

By: 
Jon F. Rutt
President of the Laurel Montana Community Foundation

Over 15 years ago, a group of Laurel residents asked the question, “What can we do to provide for the future of our community?” This group changed in membership, but the desire was always there, and the discussion continued. Three years ago, a meeting was held and the beginning of the Laurel Montana Community Foundation, Inc., was secured.
Our Purpose.
This corporation’s purpose is to provide a legal entity through which individuals and/or corporations may make charitable, tax-exempt contributions for the use and benefit of the residents of Laurel. This includes, but is not limited to, supporting education with scholarships and promoting activities that enhance the quality of life and any other projects or activities the Board of Directors may approve.
The papers were filed and in April of 2015, we were recognized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Since then we have awarded $12,500 in scholarships to Laurel residents and started an endowment to fund scholarships, activities and help provide for improvements to the quality of life in Laurel. Since February 2016 over $95,000 has been added to the endowment for the future.
This story—alongside the countless others like it—demonstrates the tremendous impact and unique importance of community foundations in this country. Through Nov. 18, we celebrate Community Foundation Week, our chance to share and reflect on these stories. Though you may not yet know your local community foundation, you’ve likely felt its impact.
That’s because LMCF and more than 780 other community foundations across the country help to bring donors and residents together. The community foundation unites their efforts behind the efforts that will help the places we call home continue to flourish and grow.
The LMCF is made up of community leaders interested in providing a way for donors to make a charitable tax-exempt contribution for scholarships, special projects, memorials or the future of Laurel they would like to see. The LMCF helps individuals fund a scholarship without the hassle of interviews or applications. The LMCF can help honor a relative or friend who had an impact on you or the community. The LMCF coordinated a giving day in 2016 with other non-profits in Laurel (The American Legion and Community Hope) and helped them raise several thousand dollars plus get matching funds.
Our goal is to bring everyone interested together to accomplish what they see as Laurel’s future.
As we enter the giving season, America’s generosity surges. Millions of people from every background will be looking to give back to the communities that have supported them. They’ll also look to ensure that their heartfelt giving—however they choose to give—will have the most impact. That’s why so many of them will choose to give to a community foundation.
A gift to your local community foundation is really an investment in the future of your community. We like to say that community foundations are “here for good.” At ​LMCF we don’t think about the next election or business cycle, we think about the next generation and the next after that.
That can seem a daunting task, but it’s one that we all share. During Community Foundation Week, I hope you’ll join us in recognizing our collective impact and the difference we can make together.

For more information on Community Foundation Week visit www.cof.org/cfweek and follow #CFWeek on Twitter.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, July 20, 2019
Third Saturdays, 1 p.m., The Crossings, 600 Roundhouse Dr.
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Fourth Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Eagles Hall, 313 W. Main, 628-4503
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.

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