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Jan 17, 2024

Reflecting on 2023 and Anticipating 2024: An Update from Our CEO

Dear friends,

As we look back on an eventful 2023, I am delighted to share highlights and provide a sneak peek into what lies ahead in 2024. I also want to express my gratitude for your partnership, which is vital to our success at the foundation and the thriving future we envision for Western Montana. Thank you!

Deploying Funds to Nonprofits: In the past year, we remained steadfast in our mission to work side-by-side with Western Montanans to improve the health of our communities. Through the distribution of $4,105,000 in grants, we helped power initiatives to support youth and families, amplify their voices for policy change, and more. To learn about the incredible organizations we partner with, check out our Grantee Spotlights and Past Awards pages, which are continuously updated.

Milestone Celebration: In 2023, we marked the culmination of our first five years of grantmaking. If you haven’t yet, check out our inaugural impact report, The Ripple Effect. It chronicles our journey and celebrates the remarkable accomplishments of nonprofits and community leaders driving change in our region.

Charting the Course for the Next Decade: Anticipating the challenges and opportunities of the next ten years, our staff and Board engaged in a strategic refinement process. We’ll introduce our new strategic framework this spring, make refinements to our programs in the coming months, and announce new funding areas later this year. Our commitment to powering upstream, community-driven work to improve health is unwavering, and we are excited to unveil new ways we will work to achieve our mission. If you’re a current grantee, stay tuned for conversations with your Program Officer.

Gratitude for a Generous Gift: This time last year, we were awarded $14 million from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. We integrated planning for the deployment of those funds into our strategic refinement process, looking for innovative ways to leverage the gift to support our partners. We are excited to share more details alongside the release of our new framework this spring.

A Hub for Nonprofit Engagement: 2023 marked the official opening of Confluence Center, Western Montana’s Home for Nonprofit Events. The response has been nothing short of amazing. Already, 198 events have been held at the space! We were proud to contribute to the success of important local community gatherings and created inclusive and welcoming spaces for our neighbors. (Learn more about the venue’s inaugural year here!)

As we embark on 2024, I encourage you to stay connected. Please sign up for our newsletter, follow us on social media (Instagram, Facebook) and don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. Your continued partnership and engagement are so important to us, and we look forward to achieving even more together in the coming year.

Thank you for traveling with us. Here’s to an impactful 2024 filled with collaboration for healthy communities!

Brenda Solorzano