Dedicated to improving the health and well-being of all Montanans.
Montana Healthcare Foundation (MHCF) is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of all Montanans. MHCF contributes to a healthier state by making strategic investments that support access to quality and affordable health services, conducting evidence-driven research and analysis, and addressing the upstream influences on health and illness. MHCF is a 501(c)3 private foundation.
Some Montanans face particularly difficult barriers to health. Health disparities (the higher rates of illness and death that are consistently documented among certain subgroups) are all too common among certain racial and ethnic groups, the social and economic disadvantaged, and young children and older adults. Across all our work, we place an emphasis on reducing health disparities and building healthier Montana communities.
MHCF was created as a result of the 2013 sale of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana. In accordance with state law, the assets from this sale were transferred to a charitable trust to be managed for public benefit. MHCF spends the income from trust investments (roughly 5% of the total value of the trust each year) so that it can serve as a permanent, stable, and reliable resource for improving health in the state.
We strive to be honest and principled, both in our stewardship of the MHCF Trust, and in our interactions with grantees, partners, and other stakeholders.
We rely on our professional expertise and community-based data to make effective, strategic investments that improve health.
We are open and clear regarding how we make decisions and manage the Foundation.
We ground our strategy and programming in community engagement and emphasize strong and enduring partnerships with individuals, organizations, agencies, and other funders.
We catalyze significant health improvement through bringing, and allowing our grantees and partners to bring, new and innovative ideas to fruition.
We understand that social and economic circumstances can create opportunities as well as barriers to health; and we elevate the concerns and priorities of at-risk populations.
We pursue programming that has a measurable impact on health and the determinants of health, and we maximize our impact through evaluation, learning from our successes and failures, and by continuously improving the quality and effectiveness of our programs.
The MHCF Board of Trustees ensures that the operations and programming of the Foundation are carried out in a manner that is consistent with the purpose of the trust. Using their knowledge of the state and expertise in a range of disciplines, Trustees establish the Foundation’s policies, goals, and strategy; monitor the success of its programming; and develop and oversee implementation of its investment policies.
The MHCF Trust is managed so that the Foundation will serve as a permanent resource for Montana’s health. Grants and other activities that support MHCF’s purpose, are funded based on the annual income of trust investments. This is consistent with IRS regulations which require that private foundations use 5% of the value of their restricted assets for grants and related activities each year.
To create our first strategic plan, we consulted with many stakeholders, reviewed extensive research and state health data, and carried out an extensive strategic planning process to identify the important health issues in Montana. The 2015 Strategic Plan describes this process and our initial approach to developing our programming.
The Foundation makes major investments in each focus area, however, it does not have a specific, predetermined amount of grant dollars allocated to each area. Rather, the allocation of grant dollars is based on the number, quality, and need demonstrated by the proposals we receive. We seek to support a range of projects across the state and across each focus area. Recognizing that preparing high-quality grant applications may be more difficult for smaller communities and organizations that lack staff and resources, we may give preference to proposals based on their contribution to the overall diversity and balance of our portfolio, and to proposals from communities with the greatest demonstrated need.