Business briefcase published March 29, 2020

Business briefcase published March 29, 2020

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Names and faces

LaNette Jones has joined Great West Engineering as a grant writer/administrator. Jones graduated from the University of Montana earning a degree in social work (BA/MA). She has more than a decade of grant administration experience and brings 16-years of business and non-profit management experience, having worked in both the nonprofit industry and as a small business owner.

News and notes

Nonprofits open online relief fund for COVID-19

Two local nonprofit are assisting Helena-area nonprofits and the vulnerable populations they serve. The Helena Area Community Foundation and the United Way of the Lewis & Clark Area have established an online relief fund to provide financial resources to nonprofits responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

HACF seeded this fund with $10,000, and will begin making grants to area nonprofits in early April. PacificSource Health Plans also donated $25,000 to the cause.

Both organizations are asking for a donation toward the Helena Area Emergency Relief Fund. The fund will ensure that local nonprofits have the resources to keep our communities and individuals safe, healthy, and resilient for weeks and months ahead.

UWLCA, Executive Director, Emily McVey also stresses the need for supplies. McVey and her team at United Way are conducting a supply drive to help also meet the growing demands of individuals in our Helena area communities.

To make a donation, visit, or write a check and mail to: Helena Area Community Foundation, P.O. Box 92, Helena MT 59624.

Foundation announces $450K in grants to programs

The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation announced it has awarded $450,000 to 86 organizations that provide basic needs support to our communities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grants in varying amounts will be distributed to community safety net programs such as food banks and pantries, homeless shelters, rescue missions, United Ways, and Salvation Army organizations across Montana to address the explosion in demand for their services associated with the ongoing health crisis.

The award includes initial grants totaling $300,000 for emergency response to the health crisis. In addition, the Foundation is committing $150,000 more in matching grants. Each organization will be eligible for a matching grant of up to 50 percent of their initial grant amount. The matching grant is designed to help raise additional resources from the organizations’ local communities. 

The Foundation also understands that addressing ongoing social and human service needs associated with COVID-19 is an evolving process and may require the distribution of additional resources to meet emergency needs as they are identified.

Food distributors such as food banks and pantries make up the bulk of the grant recipients, with the rest going to organizations that support the homeless or provide other basic needs support. 

To view the list of selected organizations, visit


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