The Women’s Foundation of Montana (WFM) funded three new projects throughout 2015 with a focus on financial capacity building: the Prosperity Club (sponsored by Rural Dynamics), Start Smart wage negotiation and financial education workshops for young women, and the upcoming Penny Conference for women in Missoula, MT on January 20, 2016.

Prosperity Club is a group of highly motivated, goal-oriented individuals and their families who come together to give and receive support from their peers who share in the same goals of family financial security, to increase their skills and knowledge, and to take part in a free, family-style meal. RDI staff and guest speakers from the community provide educational presentations, information on resources in the community and referrals.

Start Smart workshops prepare college women who are approaching the job market with the confidence, knowledge, and skills they need to negotiate salaries and benefits. This AAUW-MT Grant Project supports Montana Governor Bullock’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force mission to eliminate the gender pay gap in Montana. Nationally and on average, women presently earn 78 cents for every dollar that a man earns. In Montana the average is between 67 cents to 71 cents, well below the national average. This project, funded for another year by a second grant from the Women’s Foundation of Montana provided workshops during the last academic year (2014-15) and is also providing workshops during the current 2015–16 academic year. Additional project funding was also received from the Montana Governor’s Commissioner of Higher Education (OSHE), the Presidents’ Offices at MSU and UM, and the MSU Women’s Center.

The Penny Conference will be held in Missoula, Montana on January 20, 2016 at the University of Montana School of Business Administration. This conference focuses on helping women grow their wealth one penny at a time. This free event will run from 7 am to 5 pm.


It’s inspiring to see these events available to the women of Montana. Thank you, Women’s Foundation of Montana, for providing enriching financial educational programs throughout our state!