Who likes Free Money?

The Montana Financial Education Coalition is proud to promote local efforts to expand financial education across our state. We hope that through this mini-grant organizations will be able to implement activities in their communities with an emphasis on Financial Literacy Awareness.

The mini-grants are to augment your existing activities or implement a new strategy or program. We ask that each organization receiving a mini-grant provide a synopsis of the impact the mini-grant had on their program and community. We would love pictures of activities, participants and program materials as well, which will both showcase your efforts and grow the program.

Past Mini-Grant Projects

Through the generosity of our sponsors, in 2010 we were able to award $500 mini-grants to ten partner projects serving a broad range of groups in all regions of Montana. We could not be more pleased by the results:

  • Altogether, these projects reached over 2,100 people with financial education. While the precise number cannot be determined, well over 400 additional people were reached as a result of mini-grants.
  • All five projects launched with the help of mini-grants will continue
  • Two projects will continue to be offered using re-usable materials purchased with mini-grant funds, reducing the costs of repeat instruction
  • One project developed recommendations for improved VITA marketing, which may be used by the many Montana organizations providing this service

Big Sky Senior Services

Big Sky Senior Services was awarded a mini-grant to teach employees of financial institutions how to recognize and report incidents of financial abuse of the elderly. According to Executive Director Denise Armstrong, the project was motivated by demand on the part of these employees.

“There has been such a large increase in financial exploitation in the past four to five years,” says Armstrong. Click here for full story.

Browning Community Development Corporation

BCDC was awarded a mini-grant to provide general financial education classes. Classes were open to all residents of the Blackfeet Reservation, but the target population was students. The hope was to reach students on the cusp of taking responsibility for their finances, before they developed bad financial habits. Click here for the full story.

Career Training Institute

CTI was awarded a mini-grant to enable greater attendance at a series of financial education classes by covering expenses associated with attending the classes—including transportation, child care, and food. Click here for the full story.

District IV 4H Camp

A mini-grant was awarded to teach business skills and money management to campers and counselors at the District IV 4-H summer camp by tasking them with operating concession stands during snack time. Click here for the full story.

Junior Achievement of Montana

JAMT was awarded a mini-grant for its flagship program, where volunteers give classroom presentations to K-12 students in financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work readiness. At the time of its application, the weak economy had left JAMT facing the prospect that it would only be able to reach half as many students as it hoped. Click here for the full story.

MSU – Missoula County Extension

Family and Consumer Science Agent Kathy Revello was awarded a mini-grant to purchase the “Small Steps to Health and Wealth” course for use in her work with the community. Revello has found it difficult in the past to recruit people for classes on personal finance, given that it is a subject people typically feel uncomfortable discussing.

“I’ve had low turnout for budgeting classes,” says Revello. Click here for the full story.

NeighborWorks Montana – Transitional Housing

NWMT was awarded a mini-grant for costs related to in-house financial fitness classes for residents of the Helena YWCA, a transitional living facility for women and children. There is a strong need for financial education among residents. Click here for the full story.

Salish and Kootenai Housing Authority

SKHA was awarded a mini-grant to provide basic financial education to residents of the Flathead Reservation using the “Small Steps to Health and Wealth” course, with the hope that they would gain the skills and confidence to enroll in SKHA’s homeownership program. Click here for the full story.

United Way of Yellowstone County

UWYC was awarded a mini-grant to assist with focus groups investigating two topics: how to improve marketing of VITA, and the financial best practices of successful low-to-moderate income households. Click here for the full story.

Western Sustainability Exchange

WSE was awarded a mini-grant to purchase “Biz in a Boxx” for its Young Entrepreneur Stewardship (YES) Initiative, a summer camp for youth aged six to fourteen in the Livingston area. Click here for the full story.



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