Great Fish Community Challenge Sets New Fundraising Record

Whitefish Community Foundation releases final report showing $3.6 million was raised for nonprofits

By Micah Drew
The sign for the Whitefish Community Foundation. Beacon File Photo

The Whitefish Community Foundation (WCF) announced last week that its Great Fish Community Challenge, an annual campaign benefiting local nonprofits, raised more than $3.6 million.         

“It has been so exciting to see many of the charities raise $80,000 or more to support their programs through this platform,” Whitefish Community Foundation President Linda Engh-Grady said. “The Great Fish Community Challenge demonstrates how much power there is in giving together.”

Sixty-one participating nonprofits set a record by raising nearly $1 million more in the seventh annual fundraiser than in 2020, a 38% increase. This number is a preliminary total since the foundation has yet to award matching grants on the first $20,000 raised by each organization. In 2019, the foundation matched a total of $485,000.

The Great Fish Match Fund comes from donors in the community foundation’s Circle of Giving, with additional funds coming from the donations made straight to the Match Fund during the campaign. WCF will release the final amount raised in the challenge and announce the percentage matching grant on Oct. 18 after all campaign gifts have been reconciled.

Of the 61 participating nonprofits, the Nate Chute Foundation had the most individual donors, with 389, followed by the Abbie Shelter and Whitefish Legacy Partners, with the Legacy Partners raising the highest total amount. All but four nonprofits exceeded the $20,000 maximum matching limit set by the WCF, and nine had donations in excess of six figures.

The Whitefish Community Foundation organizes the annual campaign free of charge for participating nonprofits, the cost of which exceeded $150,000 in 2018. The foundation, with help from its sponsors, covers the entire cost to ensure that 100% of donations go to the designated charities.

The Whitefish Community Foundation has been “helping donors make smart giving decisions and nonprofits become more effective in their work since 2000.” The foundation manages over $28 million in assets, and in seven years the Great Fish Community Challenge has raised over $16.5 million for 78 charities.

For more information about the foundation, fundraising challenge and awards, visit

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