One Valley Community Foundation in Bozeman believes that strong, vibrant communities don’t happen by accident and the organization has been serving Gallatin County since 1998 to help enhance the quality of living. Luis Isls is the Director of Philanthropy and says that the mission of One Valley is to connect people who care to causes that matter. “We do that through a variety of ways,” he said. “We work with our fundholders and provide advice on different grants they may make to nonprofit organizations, and we really take a 1000 foot view of the issues affecting Gallatin County. Then, we work with our partners to address said issues.” One Valley also provides free training and workshops to all interested nonprofits.
Women who Wine is one of the non-profits One Valley works with. It was founded in 2007 by local business owner Babs Noelle as a way for local philanthropically minded women to multiply the impact of their giving, by giving together. “Wine is a conduit, not the focus,” said Dr. Cali Morrison. “Our focus is on creating connections between the local non-profits that make our Valley a community, and women who are interested in maintaining that community.” She says that the truly magical element of Women Who Wine is the connections built with each other. “We're not here to network in the traditional sense, we're here to build community.” As part of the community building aspect of Women Who Wine, winers are the hosts for monthly meetings and can choose to host at their business, home, at the benefitting non-profit, or at a community location. Dr Morrison says, “The host has the opportunity to choose the benefitting non-profit, and if she doesn't already have one identified, we work with One Valley to help her identify a non-profit that aligns with her passions. We have 11 to 12 events each year and the funding is equally distributed among those non-profits at the end of the year.”
Any woman can become a member and then host for her non-profit in her chosen location. They do ask that women be a guest up to 3 times a year and then make the commitment to become a member. Morrison was fortunate to be invited to the first ever Women Who Wine meeting and has been a member ever since. “I am consistently inspired by the non-profits we learn about and the women in our circle,” she said.
100 Strong is another organization supported by One Valley. It was started in Bozeman in 2019 by Marissa McDonough and Brenda Kitto. “ A friend of mine started a 100 Strong in another community in Montana and I loved the idea of inspiring giving at all levels,” Marissa said. “You can make a big impact when you give $100 each quarter and pool your money together with 99 others!” Brenda explained that after the two put the word out, their very first meeting in March of 2019 was able to award $10,000 to HAVEN. “Amazingly, 100 Strong members have continued to give $10,000 at each of our meetings since then for a total of $140,000,” Brenda said. “It is awe inspiring to hear about the impact so many charitable organizations are making in our community and it’s fun to be part of a collaborative effort to make these meaningful contributions.”
“What I love is that our members vote each quarter where they want to see their money go,” Marissa added. “This way everyone has equal ability to impact giving in our community. Our focus is to help both women and children in the Gallatin Valley, from flooring in a women’s shelter, to iPads for cancer patients, to a women’s recovery center, we’ve made a massive impact over the years via our members.”
For more information on One Valley, Women who Wine, 100 Strong and other philanthropic organizations, you can email email@example.com or call 406-587-6262