Community Opportunity: 2016 Park Side Partner Program

December 21, 2015
  1. Summary and Background

Park Side Credit Union has developed an annual program that provides local non-profit organizations with increased awareness and exposure in addition to direct financial support. The campaign assists in funding service projects and invests in the communities where the bulk of our membership resides. The program evolves each year to better serve our Park Side Partners.


  1. Proposal Guidelines

A formal request for partnership should be prepared by the non-profit organization’s Executive Director and/or Board President and must contain a brief statement of interest and a commitment to the limited requirements listed in this outline. Please submit an e-mail to by 5pm on Friday, January 8th, 2016.


III. Project Purpose and Description

The Park Side Partner program facilitates a cooperative environment on a local level between the credit union as a not-for-profit financial institution and other non-profit service organizations in the Flathead Valley and Missoula. Establishing a business relationship with focused efforts to cross-promote and engage each other will allow both entities to receive the respective benefits of the partnership.


  1. Project Scope

Park Side Credit Union commits to participation in fundraising events that have been scheduled and coordinated by the Partner’s staff and directors and approved by Park Side Credit Union. The Partner will offer a visible connection to Park Side in media outlets and in all community activities while involved in this program. Fundraising efforts of the participant will be supported and advertised by the credit union and often paired with staff volunteer groups. In the interest of a true partnership, both Park Side Credit Union and the non-profit organization will assume a number of deliverables.

Park Side Credit Union will provide each Partner with the following:

  • Online and social media presence
    • Corporate website
    • Facebook posts and engagement (Over 1,500 likes)
    • Twitter – @ParkSide_CU (Over 800 followers)
  • Advertising
    • Radio spots on major local broadcasting station groups
    • In-branch lobby marketing (material display, coupons, information table, etc.)
    • Media coverage (as available)
  • Donation
    • The non-profit will receive up to $5,000 paid in 2016
  • Involvement
    • Staff volunteers at a key fundraising event or awareness campaign


Each partner is expected to provide Park Side Credit Union with the following:

  • Online presence
  • Inclusion in e-mail or newsletter publications for joint communication efforts
  • Attendance at one Park Side staff meeting and/or board meeting to further the relationship and to explain and present the organization’s mission/vision
  • Credit union membership and an active account at Park Side Credit Union (*if unreasonable, please explain)
  1. Request for Proposal and Project Timeline

All interested parties should respond by e-mail ( no later than 5pm on Friday, January 8th, 2016. Evaluation will take place beginning the following Monday and conclude by January 29th – during this time, Park Side Credit Union will schedule presentation meetings at which the non-profit representatives will share their vision with a staff interview/selection committee. The official partnership program will start immediately and run through December 31, 2016.


  1. Program Qualifications

Partners must confirm and verify that the organization is a legitimate 501(c)(3) that provides benefits and services locally in the Flathead Valley or Missoula and also has established fundraising efforts in place.


VII. Evaluation and Selection Criteria

The non-profit organization representative(s) will be asked to present to a Park Side Credit Union selection committee and cover the following:

  • History & mission
  • Staff & board
  • Local services/programs
  • Current fundraising efforts
  • Proposed support of Park Side Credit Union – be unique and innovative!
  • Any other information relevant to partnership

Park Side Credit Union

1300 Baker Ave

Whitefish, MT 59937



Community Event: Flathead Fund Development Book Group

November 24, 2015

Fundraising professionals are invited to join a new book group in the Flathead to promote continuing education and networking. This event is hosted by Cathy Cooney of Montana Community Foundation.

The Flathead Fund Development Book Group is holding the first meeting on Wednesday, December 9, from 4-5 p.m. at the development office of Immanuel Lutheran Communities. The facility is located at 185 Crestline in Kalispell. (The development office is located in a small house at the end of the street next to the main facility. For more specific directions, contact Ronalee Skees at 752-9243 or

The FFD book group will meet every three weeks for structured discussions. It is open to all fundraising professionals (paid or unpaid) or those interested in entering the development field. There is no fee for joining, but all participants are required to read the book selections in advance to allow full participation in the discussion.

The first selection is Strategic Fund Development: Building Profitable Relationships that Last by Simone Joyaux.  The newest version of the book is expensive so participants are encouraged to buy a used or  Kindle version. (The third edition is the newest, but the 1st or 2nd edition will be fine.) At the first meeting, we will discuss the first three or four chapters of the book.

This groundbreaking book offers important insights, critical strategies, and useful tools to enhance your organization’s performance and raise more charitable contributions. Joyaux challenges the fundraising profession to focus on organizational development rather than merely promoting fundraising technicians. Joyaux integrates staff work with that of volunteers and demands a basic change in the way we do business.

If you have questions, contact Cathy Cooney, Director of Donor Services at Montana Community Foundation, at or 441-4954.

Forum on Board Governance – notes from January 8, 2015 Brown Bag

January 15, 2015

At our first Brown Bag of the New Year, we kicked off NpDP’s Year of the Board with an open forum about Boards of Directors in the Flathead, and issues faced by many in fulfilling their important roles. About 35 people attended, and there was lively, thoughtful discussion, with a lot of honest sharing and helpful ideas. Below are notes from the easel that summarized the group conversation. Thank you to all the participants for their engagement,

What’s Working with Boards of Directors?

  • Belief in what we do (the mission)
  • Time commitment
  • Support for executive directors as we talk through problems
  • Backing up the executive director/CEO
  • Diversity of skill sets and knowledge
  • Global perspective
  • Build support among their community networks
  • Oversight and taking ultimate responsibility

What Challenges do Boards face (What Needs Work?)

  • Ensuring diversity of all kinds (including background, profession, and opinion)
  • Communicating all expectations clearly as recruitment is happening
  • Getting lost in “Acronym Soup”, the internal, technical terms of a complex organization
  • Recruitment – Attracting people to the cause
  • Finding the right person, with skills we need, who fit with the culture
  • Knowing what to expect, and the role that Boards should play (now that there is a board, what do “I” do with them?)
  • Accountability between volunteers, and with staff
  • Leadership – casting the vision, getting people on board, and holding each other accountable
  • Unity about decisions, and getting to consensus
  • How do we evolve, when new staff is brought in, or when a founder moves on?
  • Busy people have less time to be involved
  • Defining roles, hierarchy, mentoring process, and the level of formality we want
  • Changing Board cultures, which are often unconscious; there is a spectrum of board control from authoritarian to hands off, and you want to be more in the middle for a healthy organization
  • There are not a lot of models for how to “do it differently”
  • Sometimes we try to apply experiences or models that don’t work in nonprofit settings
  • New members often don’t get the education about “how we do it around here”
  • Challenge is recognizing the world has changed, and then adapting to it
  • Integrating younger generations into leadership
  • We are leading human beings, and sometimes there can be “drama”

How are Boards stepping into their roles in Fund Development (fundraising)

  • Often, expectations are unclear about board members’ role in fundraising
  • Question often is: How do I get involved?
  • Skill deficit
  • No experience in making the “ask”
  • Funding fatigue – experienced people who do fundraising get tired
  • Some people don’t want to be approached for a gift
  • Fear of failing or “blowing it”
  • Board members don’t always give themselves
  • We struggle with cultural beliefs about money
  • We don’t often ask, “what is the return on investment” for any given fund development effort, like events, or mailers

Ideas for Addressing or Solving Challenges

  • Encourage all board members to give
  • Put policies in place that encourage the Board to manage the Board
  • Rotate leadership responsibilities to develop skills in others
  • Do a Board retreat
  • Have ongoing education at meetings about Board responsibilities and roles, maybe 15 minutes to share an article or watch a video
  • Intentionally recruit people to the Board with a conversation about expectations for governance and fund development before they are invited to join
  • Provide an orientation session “live” in person with a chance to talk about how the Board functions
  • Give provide documents about structure and policies electronically or on paper
  • Assign new members a Board Mentor or “Buddy”
  • Address Founders Syndrome with sensitivity and focused on the organization, not the person
  • Have a nominating committee that identifies and recommends new board members based on assessed needs of the organization; better yet, have a Board Development or Board Governance Committee that includes the nominating function, and also looks at education and support for Board members, evaluating the Board, and other functions of the Board managing the Board
  • Committees can have non-board members on them, which is a great way to engage new people and mutually assess their fit with the Board
  • Do a field trip to connect with the mission, or visit another organization
  • As chair, or executive director, have regular lunches with each board member (but be careful of manipulating the Board)
  • Give rooms for introverts to have input; they will not speak up in a large group
  • Stop saying (and thinking) “My Board” – unlike a business, it’s not “your” organization as leader, executive director, or founder; it’s “Our Board” or “the Organization’s Board”. Share the “ownership” and the responsibility for success!

April Fools!

March 31, 2014

Yes!  It is April Fools Day from your friends at the Flathead Nonprofit Development Partnership.

But, seriously, there truly is a Tax Reform Act of 2014. Here are two opinions on how the legislation may affect nonprofits:
Changes in the Charitable Deduction Don’t Have to Mean Losses for Charities

Draft Tax Reform Act of 2014 Proposes Profound Impact on Tax-Exempt Organizations

Marketing & Communications Director

March 11, 2014

The Montana Community Foundation creates a culture of philanthropy so Montana Communities can flourish. Established in 1988, the Foundation works with individuals, families, other nonprofit organizations, businesses and professional advisors to create mutually beneficial relationships in support of our shared vision. As a statewide community foundation, MCF serves a role in identifying and addressing the state’s most persistent challenges, and inclusively unites people, institutions and resources to produce significant, widely shared and lasting changes to better the lives of Montanans. Building on a solid base of strong performance, the Foundation seeks a new team member dedicated to achieving our goal of being recognized as “The Go-To Place for Philanthropy in Montana.”

Reports to: Chief Executive Officer

Position Summary: In support of the Foundation’s mission, the Marketing and Communications Director is an integral part of a small team of professionals dedicated to supporting philanthropy for Montana. The position works closely with the CEO, CFO, Development Officer and Program Directors in achieving the organization’s objectives. The position is responsible for designing, planning and implementing all of the Foundation’s marketing strategies, marketing communications, and public relations activities, both external and internal.

Primary Responsibilities include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

Marketing, communications and public relations

1. Responsible for creating, implementing and measuring the success of:

a. comprehensive marketing, communications and public relations program that will enhance the Foundation’s image and position, and facilitate internal and external communications; and

b. all Foundation marketing, communications and public relations activities and materials including publications, electronic media, media relations, donor acquisition and so forth.

2. Ensure articulation of the Foundation’s desired image and position, assure consistent communication of image and position throughout the Foundation, and assure communication of image and position to all constituencies, both internal and external.

3. Responsible for editorial direction, design, production and distribution of all Foundation publications. This includes production of the Foundation’s newsletter, designing financial fund reports for constituents, and other publications as appropriate. A high level of writing proficiency is required.

4. Manage the Foundation’s electronic media efforts including the Foundation’s web site and social media efforts.

5. Direct and administer the Foundation’s online community on its website including troubleshooting access issues for constituents.

6. Coordinate and grow media interest in the Foundation and ensure regular contact with target media and appropriate response to media requests.

7. Coordinate the appearance of all Foundation print materials such as letterhead, use of logo, brochures, etc.

8. Develop, coordinate and oversee programs, technical assistance and resource materials to assist professional advisors and local community foundations in the marketing, communications and positioning of their activities.

9. Ensure that the Foundation regularly conducts relevant market research and coordinate and oversee this activity. Monitor trends.

10. Leads projects as assigned, such as cause-related marketing and special events.

Planning and budgeting

1. Responsible for the achievement of marketing/communications/public relations mission, goals and financial objectives. Ensure that evaluation systems are in place related to these goals and objectives and report progress to the Chief Executive Officer.

2. Develop short- and long-term plans and budgets for the marketing/communications/public relations program and its activities, monitor progress, assure adherence and evaluate performance.

3. Recommend short- and long-term Foundation goals and objectives to the Chief Executive Officer.

4. Develop, implement and monitor systems and procedures necessary to the smooth operation of the marketing/communications/public relations function.

5. Keep informed of developments in the fields of marketing, communications and public relations, not-for-profit management and governance, [and the specific business of the Foundation and use this information to help the Foundation operate with initiative and innovation].

Organizational strategy

1. Work with Foundation staff and volunteers to develop and maintain a strategic perspective — based on marketplace and constituent needs and satisfaction — in organizational direction, program and services, and decision-making; and,

2. Help make sure that the Foundation’s philosophy, mission and vision are pertinent and practiced throughout the organization.

3. Develop and coordinate means to seek regular input from the Foundation’s key constituencies regarding the quality of programs and services and the Foundation’s relevance.

4. Help formulate and administer policies to ensure the integrity of the Foundation.

Position Requirements:

Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


  • Demonstrated skills, knowledge and experience in the design and execution of marketing, communications and public relations activities.
  • Strong creative, strategic, analytical, organizational and personal sales skills.
  • Proven self-starter who thrives working in a team environment.
  • Demonstrated successful experience writing press releases, making presentations and negotiating with media.
  • Experience overseeing the design and production of print materials and publications.
  • Experience managing web content, design and social media.
  • Strong project management and organizational skills. Ability to use time effectively to prioritize and manage multiple projects with time-sensitive deadlines.
  • Highly developed, expert professional writing skills.
  • Competency in word processing, database management, social media, web design, and page layout.
  • Strong oral and written communications skills.
  • Impeccable attention to detail.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Experience developing and managing budgets.
  • Out-of-town, overnight travel is required.


  • Minimum of 3 years’ experience in marketing, communications or public relations with demonstrated success, preferably in the not-for-profit or association sector.
  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, marketing or public relations preferred.
  • Experience working with volunteers is desirable.

To apply for this position, submit cover letter, current resume and three references to: Review of candidates will begin March 31, 2014.

Salary negotiable commensurate with experience.

April 1st E-News

April 1, 2011

In honor of April Fool’s Day, we couldn’t resist! Yes, indeed, all of the news from today is fake. Yesterday’s e-News was completely legitimate. Happy April Fool’s Day!

If you missed it, here’s a link to the April Fool’s e-News.