Change Your Pace Offers New Fundraising Model


SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley Lake Community Foundation (SLCF) is trying a new approach to how they financially support local organizations. The inaugural Change Your Pace Challenge offers 14 local organizations the opportunity to raise up to $5,000 from May 20-July 22. The funds raised will be matched by the SLCF for a total of $30,000 available match funding.

The SLCF offers two grant cycles each year during which 501(c) 3 organizations can apply for up to $2,500. The grants are made possible through donors and the SLCF's major fundraising banquet in August.

While the small grants will continue for now, SLCF President Carla Schade said she hopes that this new fundraising model will replace the grants in the future.

"The SLCF Board saw this as a way to encourage broader community support and diversify everyone's fundraising efforts," said SLCF Executive Director Anne Beach.

The SLCF has pursued its regular donors asking them to give early to raise the $30,000 match funding. They also held a meeting April 28 that 21 organizations attended including 501(c) 3 nonprofits, churches and service organizations.

"We can illustrate the work and need in the community in this collaborative fundraising mechanism," said Beach. "We have the resources to do this. It's an opportunity to raise awareness around the needs and work that local organizations provide."

Fourteen organizations applied to be a part of the challenge and all 14 were accepted. They include: Alpine Artisans, Big Blackfoot Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Clearwater Resource Council, Seeley Lake Food Bank, Sparrow's Vine, Seeley Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, Seeley Lake Community Foundation, Seeley Lake Historical Society, Seeley Lake Lions Club, Seeley Lake ROCKS, Seeley Lake Senior Center, Seeley-Swan High School Destinations for Education, Seeley-Swan Medical Center Foundation and Sullivan Memorial Park, Inc.

A brochure is available at the SLCF office and will be mailed to Post Office box holders in Seeley Lake. Donors write one check to the SLCF, choosing from the list of 14 organizations the amounts to give to each organization. Donors receive a receipt from the SLCF for their tax-deductible donation.

The organizations receive all the money donated to them and up to $5,000 in match funding. If the sum is greater than $30,000 for all the organizations, the match will be prorated by a percent based on how much was raised. Beach said this is only fair since not all the organizations have the same capacity.

On July 16, the SLCF hosts a 2K Fun Run/walk and 5K and 10K competitive races as a part of the Challenge. This event is one of the many activities happening that weekend during the Bob Marshall Music Festival. This event is an opportunity for participants and members of the community to donate to their favorite organizations before the Challenge ends July 22. The total funds raised and the match will be awarded at the SLCF annual fundraising banquet Aug. 14.

"Anyone can be a philanthropist," said Beach. "All you really need to care about is your community and way of life. You don't have to be a millionaire to make a difference."

For more information visit the SLCF's website, call 406-677-3506 or email


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