In the Community

Ignite Newsletter - May 2024

May 23, 2024

May 2024

Dear WFM Friends and Supporters,

Twenty-five years ago, the Women’s Foundation of Montana (WFM) began its journey with a commitment to women’s economic security. From humble beginnings, we've championed collaborative efforts to advance gender equity in Montana.

This year marks our 25th Anniversary, and we're embarking on new initiatives to expand our impact. We're increasing grants to address both short-term needs and long-term systemic change for all women in our state. Research on women's status and advocacy for impactful policies are now integral parts of our mission.

This progress wouldn't be possible without the collective effort and vision of hundreds of Montanans like you. As we celebrate our achievements, we recognize the ongoing challenges ahead.

Looking forward, we have launched the Big Sky No Limits Campaign, aiming to raise $250,000 for the WFM endowment. Your support is crucial in shaping a brighter future where every woman can define her own success.

Will you join us on this journey to equity? Your gift directly impacts women and girls in Montana and will be matched dollar-for-dollar, doubling your impact.

Leave Your Mark, Build a Brighter Future!

Thank you for your continued support in building strong communities for all.


Kylie Gursky
Director, WFM

Hot Off the Press – The 2023 Impact Report

Plenty Doors Community Development Center

Empowering Apsáalooke Women, Building a Healthy Community


Charlene Johnson, Crow Tribal Member, wanted to spend her career making her people healthier. While she began as a nutritionist with the Indian Health Service, she quickly realized that true health goes well beyond food. It’s about stable economies for families and communities, affordable housing, clean environments, social support, and healthcare. After retiring, she founded Plenty Doors Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit focused on community economic development and a Women’s Foundation of Montana (WFM) grantee.  Charlene’s vision is a healthy community where Apsáalooke people can maintain and celebrate their uniqueness while using their skills and talents to be successful in a major economy. 

Since its founding in 2018, Plenty Doors has provided technical assistance to small businesses, financial literacy and wealth management classes, and water sanitation projects.

In 2021, Plenty Doors established a Community Development Financial Institute (CDFI) to offer small business loans, and in 2013 started offering Individual Development Accounts that help people reduce debt, save for education, purchase a home, or start a business. CDFIs exist to better the economic conditions in markets underserved by traditional financial institutions, private investors, and mainstream philanthropy. Crow Agency hasn’t had a new building in over 20 years. Plenty Doors knows physical infrastructure is needed to support new businesses, so they purchased and are renovating an existing facility as they design and construct the Crow Innovation Center. The Crow Innovation Center, scheduled to be completed in 2026, will incubate businesses, provide meeting and training spaces, host a market space, commercial kitchen, and vendor areas, and have office space for the Plenty Doors loan and technical assistance staff. Plenty Doors is creating the physical infrastructure needed to nurture the potential of every individual in their community.

You can read the article in its entirety and the rest of the 2023 Impact Report here.

In Case You Missed It



The Status of Women in Montana: Advancing Policy for Economic Equity Report. This report serves as a vital resource for policymakers, advocates, and community members, driving evidence-based solutions to address the challenges and opportunities facing women in our state.

WFM is a powerful force for philanthropy in Montana because of your support. WFM grantees lead the way in creating strong communities that work for women and girls.

Learn more about WFM grantees here and see our 2023 funding summary.

Give Now!