Great Fish finishes with more than $2.7M raised
Holly Froman, Lynnette Donaldson and Linda Engh-Grady man the pop-up donations booth for the Great Fish Community Challenge outside First Interstate Bank on Thursday morning. The Whitefish Community Foundation’s Great Fish giving campaign ended on Friday. (Heidi Desch/Whitefish Pilot)
A total of $173,335 was donated on the last day of the sixth annual Great Fish Community Challenge bringing the preliminary total raised during the campaign to more than $2.7 million.
Donors gave generously throughout the campaign organized by the Whitefish Community Foundation to benefit 56 participating nonprofits. The campaign concluded on Friday.
The preliminary total raised is an increase of more than $460,000 over last year’s total on the last day. The preliminary total is not the final and does not include the percentage match that will be awarded by the Whitefish Community Foundation.
“We expect more gifts to come in after the close of the campaign,” said Linda Engh-Grady, foundation president. “We usually get employee matching gifts and late donations after the campaign is over. All of these gifts will be passed on to the designated charities, but they are not counted in the match.”
Most of the participating charities raised more than $20,000, which is the maximum amount eligible to be matched, with a few charities raising over $100,000 through the campaign.
The match percentage is calculated by the Whitefish Community Foundation and will be unveiled during the Great Fish Community Challenge Awards Celebration on Oct. 26. The match percentage is made up of the gifts that are directed straight to the Great Fish Match Fund during the campaign, totaling $86,559 this year, and funds allocated from the Circle of Giving program.
Last year, the total match award was $485,000, a 49% match.
The Great Fish Community Challenge Awards Celebration will be held virtually this year, broadcast to the public as a Watch Party on the Whitefish Community Foundation’s YouTube channel on Monday, Oct. 26 at 6 p.m.
Several special awards will be announced during the watch party including the Great Fish Award, which comes with a $7,500 grant. The Great Fish Award recognizes a nonprofit for the impact it makes on the community and the depth of the organization’s participation in the 2020 Challenge.
Other special awards including the Jean Howard Memorial Award, Russ and Mary Jane Street Community Service Award, and Doris Schumm Community Spirit Award, will also be announced.
New this year, several nonprofits will receive an additional $500 for the 200 Club for achieving 200 unique donors during the campaign. In addition to the match, more than $35,000 in special awards and incentive grants will be awarded through the 2020 Challenge from the Whitefish Community Foundation.
Whitefish Community Foundation is dedicated to fostering philanthropy, building endowments, and helping donors and nonprofits benefit the community. For more information about the Whitefish Community Foundation visit https://whitefishcommunityfoundation.org/.