Articles written by Claire Muller


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  • Giving days in Montana and beyond

    Claire Muller, Seeley Lake Community Foundation Executive Director|May 9, 2024

    Community-wide giving campaigns are a growing trend in the nonprofit world. Place-specific giving days are happening around Montana this month. The Seeley Lake Community Foundation is now running our community-giving campaign, the Change Your Pace Challenge, for the month of May. Let’s take a deeper look into this popular form of philanthropy. Giving Tuesday — the Tuesday after Thanksgiving — is the most well-known giving day in the US. It was formed in 2012 as a response to commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving seaso...

  • Change Your Pace Challenge community fundraiser begins May 1

    Claire Muller, Seeley Lake Community Foundation|Apr 25, 2024

    The Seeley Lake Community Foundation’s Change Your Pace Challenge (CYP) is a month-long campaign for community-wide giving, motivating community members to donate to their favorite participating local non-profits, knowing the impact of their gift will multiply thanks to the CYP Match Fund. The Seeley Lake Community Foundation invites everyone to the Change Your Pace Challenge Kickoff Party on Wednesday May 1. Join us for an opportunity to mingle with local non-profits and enjoy lunch, sponsored by Republic Services. The event runs from 11 a...

  • Grant deadline Jan. 31 for projects helping Seeley Lake

    Claire Muller, Seeley Lake Community Foundation Executive Director|Jan 18, 2024

    Non-profit organizations are invited to submit grant proposals to the Seeley Lake Community Foundation for 2024 projects. Applications are due Jan. 31. The Seeley Lake Community Foundation helps local groups fund important community projects in the areas of: art & culture, community & economic development, basic human needs, education and natural resources & conservation. In this capacity, the SLCF strives to be a community resource and catalyst for innovative approaches to improving the quality of life of the Seeley Lake area. The SLCF awards...

  • How to grow an endowment

    Claire Muller, Seeley Lake Community Foundation Executive Director|Jan 11, 2024

    December is a busy, generous month. The giving spirit of the holiday season often moves people to support the causes they love. As year-end approaches, people also evaluate tax consequences and work to maximize their contributions. At the end of 2023, the Seeley Lake Community Foundation received a very generous gift of $10,000 earmarked for our endowment. How did this happen? The donor simply called up the SLCF office to talk about what he was looking to do. Together we figured out the mechanics of this gift, and made it happen before his...

  • Seeley Lake Community Foundation awards two year-end grants

    Claire Muller, Executive Director of The Seeley Lake Community Foundation|Dec 28, 2023

    The Seeley Lake Community Foundation is excited to announce two special, year-end grants. “As we move into the winter season, we are excited to be able to support two important projects that get people outside enjoying this special place we live, as well as bring people together to build community and celebrate Seeley Lake,” said SLCF Executive Director Claire Muller. The organizations receiving grants are: Seeley Lake Nordic Ski Club: $5,000 for maintenance of cross country skiing that is free to all. These funds will help with the exp...

  • Place For All: Wise words for your day

    Claire Muller, Executive Director of Seeley Lake Community Foundation|Dec 21, 2023

    Happy to fill in last minute for this week’s Place for All column. Then I got stressed about creating some incredibly wise words to share with the Seeley Lake community. Oh well, lean into your strengths. I love quotes. So here are a few good ones to get us through the end of the year. Happy holidays everyone! “Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from surviving bad judgment.” -Waldo Pritchard “A perfectionist walked into a bar. Apparently it wasn’t set high enough.” – Indian Hills Community Center “We cannot do great things...

  • Grants available for projects helping Seeley Lake

    Claire Muller, Executive Director of Seeley Lake Community Foundation|Dec 7, 2023

    Non-profit organizations are invited to submit grant proposals to the Seeley Lake Community Foundation for 2024 projects. The SLCF awards grants of up to $3,000 for projects to benefit the area of Seeley Lake, MT. Applications are due Jan. 31 each year, and grant award decisions are made by early March. The Seeley Lake Community Foundation helps local groups fund important community projects in the areas of: art & culture, community & economic development, basic human needs, education, and natural resources & conservation. In this capacity,...

  • Grateful for Loving Hearts

    Claire Muller, Executive Director of Seeley Lake Community Foundation|Nov 9, 2023

    I am so grateful for Loving Hearts Thrift Shoppe. I recently got the prettiest teal colored jacket there, and a pile of other great items, at the $1 bag sale! When I got home and realized my new favorite jacket was reversible, and even prettier on the inside, I SQUEALED with joy. I am a very proud cheapskate - a frugal warrior - and your store makes my heart happy. I love a good deal, I love reusing perfectly good clothing, and I love popping in to Loving Hearts every month or so to run into people and see what’s going on. So many people in t...

  • Hilarious 'I Ride' mix-up

    Claire Muller, Seeley Lake Community Foundation Executive Director|Nov 2, 2023

    You know that kind of frustration that happens when something is just not going according to your plan, and then you get a new piece of information that radically alters the situation? It completely diffuses the tension. 'Oh, it was all a misunderstanding?' you realize. 'That's fine!' Well, we've had a few of those situations over the years. Sometimes - hopefully - it's a hilarious mix-up. Here's one of my favorites. (Names changed for anonymity). Enjoy: Veronica, a regular rider who has...

  • What is a community foundation?

    Claire Muller, Executive Director of Seeley Lake Community Foundation|Aug 10, 2023

    Community foundations are organizations that can help manage community-wide discussions and collect and distribute funds for local projects. A community foundation is a tax-exempt public charity created by and for the people in a defined geographic area. It enables people to easily and effectively support the issues they care about—immediately, or through their wills. They serve a vital role as facilitators of good works by bringing together people from across the different sectors of the community to address social and regional challenges. I...

  • Change Your Pace Challenge community fundraiser begins June 2

    Claire Muller, Seeley Lake Community Foundation Executive Director|May 25, 2023

    Energy Partners Propane Solutions and the Seeley Lake Community Foundation invite everyone to our Community Appreciation Day and Change Your Pace Challenge Kickoff Party on Friday, June 2. Fill your 20 pound BBQ propane bottle for $10 and 50% of the proceeds will be donated to the Change Your Pace Challenge Match Fund. Come join us for an opportunity to mingle with local non-profits and enjoy lunch, sponsored by Energy Partners! The event runs from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Foundation Building...

  • I Ride Seeley Lake

    Claire Muller, SLCF Executive Director|Jan 26, 2023

    People want to grow old in their community and the home they love, but getting the care they need can be a challenge in our beautiful, rugged, rural corner of the county. Nationwide, an estimated 3.6 million people lack access to proper medical care due to transportation issues. Here, in beautiful little Seeley Lake, we are doing something about that. Thankfully, in 2016 local folks from the Seeley Lake Community Foundation (SLCF), Seeley Swan Medical Center, Missoula Aging Services, Missoula Co...

  • An ode to Seeley Lake

    Claire Muller, Seeley Lake Community Foundation Executive Director|Jan 19, 2023

    Claire Muller, executive director for the Seeley Lake Community Foundation, volunteered in 2022 for the Red Ants Pants Foundation for their Girls Leadership Program, where mentors and mentees received a training on Rural Identity from Megan Torgerson, the founder of the Reframing Rural podcast. Muller said they listened to her narrated essay, “Patchwork Quilt” and explored how to talk about and celebrate the rural Montana places they lived in. “We did a quick exercise of writing a poem about our homes and I loved it,” Muller said. “Afterw...

  • Managing workplace conflict

    Claire Muller, Executive Director, Seeley Lake Community Foundation|Aug 25, 2022

    I want to share with you a tool that I love. The Waterline Model is a process for resolving team breakdowns. This tool can help you distinguish between the common issues that bog teams down and be deliberate about how you address them. It has helped me get through many vexing situations. We all have experienced conflict with others, whether in the workplace, in a volunteer situation or in whatever capacity we have worked in a team environment to implement a project. The Waterline Model was...

  • Community Foundation awards scholarships

    Claire Muller, Executive Director, Seeley Lake Community Foundation|Jun 30, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley Lake Community Foundation is proud to announce the recipients of the 2022 SLCF Scholarship. Bethany Hoag and Klaire Kovatch each will receive $2,000 towards university expenses! Hoag graduated from Seeley Swan High School in 2021 with a 4.0 GPA. Throughout her high school years, she received numerous awards both in academics and athletics. Some of her accomplishments include: the National President's Education Award for academic excellence freshman and sophomore years;...

  • The path of a potential volunteer

    Claire Muller, Executive Director, Seeley Lake Community Foundation|Mar 17, 2022

    A woman recently moved to Seeley Lake. She LOVES it here. She’s so excited to get involved. Where does she go for information? Where does she go to get involved? How does she meet people? • Perhaps by talking to people around town and getting on some local Facebook pages. • Perusing fliers around Seeley Lake, like the bulletin board at Cory’s. • Hopefully, she will pick up a Pathfinder, see all the businesses and services listed and start to get a sense of the community through articles and reading about local events. • She will probably Go...

  • Community Foundation awards graduate scholarships

    Claire Muller, Executive Director, Seeley Lake Community Foundation|Aug 5, 2021

    The Seeley Lake Community Foundation is proud to announce the recipients of the 2021 SLCF Scholarship. Seeley-Swan High School graduates Kara Good and Nicole Williams each will receive $1,000 towards university expenses! Good graduated from Seeley-Swan High School in 2020. Throughout her high school years, she received numerous awards both in academics and athletics. Some of her accomplishments include: state-wide 2019 Montana High School Mathematics Award; the National President's Award for...

  • Opportunity to receive $80,000 in down payment assistance

    Claire Muller, Executive Director, Seeley Lake Community Foundation|Jul 22, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - Learn about an opportunity to finally buy your own home here in Seeley Lake. Trust Montana, a non-profit community land trust, will present on its Home Buyer Choice (HB Choice) homebuyer assistance program, Tuesday, July 27 at 5:30 p.m. in the West Wing of the Foundation Building (3150 MT Hwy 83 N). The program will provide five grants up to $80,000 to income-qualified homebuyers in Missoula County. Applications are due Friday, Aug. 20. A lottery will be held to select the five applicants. *Hint-there’s not many so far, so any qua...

  • Giving days and philanthropy

    Claire Muller, Executive Director, Seeley Lake Community Foundation|Jun 3, 2021

    Community-wide giving campaigns are a growing trend in the nonprofit world. ‘Giving days’ wrapped up in most of the bigger cities around Montana in early May. The Seeley Lake Community Foundation is now running our month-long community giving campaign (the Change Your Pace Challenge) for the month of June. Let’s take a deeper look into this popular form of philanthropy. Giving Tuesday (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving) is the most well-known giving day in the US. It was formed in 2012 as a response to commercialization and consumerism in the p...

  • Small Business Development Centers Meet and Greet May 13

    Claire Muller, Executive Director, Seeley Lake Community Foundation|Apr 29, 2021

    Seeley Lake area business owners (or anyone interested in starting a business!) are invited to come meet your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Business Advisor on Thursday, May 13 in the West Wing of the Foundation Building. There will be two, one-hour sessions, for the convenience of busy business owners, one at 10 a.m. and another at 5:30 p.m. Pastries from Bernice's Bakery and coffee will be provided for the morning session. Pizza will be provided for the evening session,...

  • The marathon of collaboration

    Claire Muller, Executive Director, Seeley Lake Community Foundation|Dec 24, 2020

    Have you ever had an idea that could benefit more than just you? Maybe it is something you love to do and want to share it, maybe you've seen it done in another community, or maybe you've even tried and didn't get the momentum or support you needed the first time around. Over the past 20 years at the Seeley Lake Community Foundation (SLCF), we've watched these small ideas grow into community-wide projects that bring benefits to so many beyond the instigator. When we can articulate a common goal...

  • Options abound for last few weeks of filling out the Census

    Claire Muller, Executive Director, Seeley Lake Community Foundation|Sep 17, 2020

    Every 10 years we are asked to do one of the easiest and most important things we can do for our communities, fill out our Census form. It doesn't sound exciting or glamorous, but without Census data, our communities, neighbors and families risk losing out on important federal dollars. Montana currently ranks in the bottom five states in the country for the response to the 2020 U.S. Census. The deadline is Sept. 30. An accurate count determines how all the federal taxes we pay come back here to...

  • Scholarship recipients announced

    Claire Muller, Executive Director, Seeley Lake Community Foundation|Aug 6, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley Lake Community Foundation is proud to announce the recipients of the 2020 SLCF Scholarship. Hunter Shelmerdine, Lily Mercer and Chance Johnson each will receive $500 towards university expenses. These students had to learn how to navigate their freshman year of college during a very unusual time due to COVID-19. Shelmerdine graduated as valedictorian of the Seeley-Swan High School Class of 2019. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering at Mo...

  • Demystifying the world of grants

    Claire Muller, Executive Director, Seeley Lake Community Foundation|Jul 9, 2020

    As a small rural town, grant funding is an important source of dollars to help bring community ideas to life. Let’s explore this topic behind the scenes a bit. Grants help our local ski and snowmobile clubs keep trails maintained, provide programs like the 21st Century grant helping get kids outside at the elementary school and so much more. There are federal grants, state grants, private foundation grants, public foundation grants and each type typically requires different levels of complexity for the application and reporting. For a c...

  • Last week to donate to the Change Your Pace Challenge

    Claire Muller, Executive Director, Seeley Lake Community Foundation|Jun 25, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE - The Change Your Pace (CYP) Challenge runs through 5 p.m. June 30, leaving under a week to increase the power of a donation to your favorite local cause(s), with the help of the CYP Match Fund. The Seeley Lake Community Foundation's fifth-annual CYP Challenge is a campaign for community-wide giving, celebrating the people and organizations that make our community great. Fifteen local organizations are participating this year, raising money for local projects during this month-long f...

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