Five Valleys awarded M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust grant to support planned giving

Five Valleys is thrilled to announce that the organization was recently awarded a grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust to hire a Planned Giving Officer who will focus on securing gifts that will help ensure Five Valleys commitment to conservation and stewardship into the future.

Planned giving is the process by which a donor creates a financial or estate plan in which they formally decide to give something of value to an organization at a future date. Leaving a gift in your will or trust (also known as a bequest) is one of the simplest, most impactful, and most popular types of planned giving.

“As Five Valleys looks to our next half-century of serving our community through conservation, guaranteeing that the nearly 100,000 acres we have already protected remain conserved is of critical importance. At the same time, the most pressing opportunities to protect land are immense,” says Whitney Schwab, Five Valleys’ Executive Director. “Building a solid base of financial support through planned gifts will ensure that we are able to protect important conservation lands throughout western Montana and responsibly steward these landscapes into the future. Until now, we have been focused on meeting the immediate financial needs of the organization. Making a planned gift will help Five Valleys deliver on our promise of perpetuity.”

A recent report completed by the Montana Community Foundation predicts that in Montana the baby boomer generation will transfer nearly $37 billion in wealth over the next ten years.

“This is an opportunity for Five Valleys to take advantage of the unprecedented transfer of wealth now taking place to make certain that we can continue our critical work of protecting western Montana’s natural legacy for future generations.” said Denny Iverson, President of Five Valleys’ Board of Directors.

“We are excited to partner with Five Valleys to launch this important program” said Dana Miller, Senior Grants Manager for the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. “At Murdock, we help nonprofits sharpen their approach and sustain their mission because we believe that when a powerful idea fulfills its promise, lives are changed, communities thrive, and our entire region prospers."

The mission of the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust is to serve individuals, families, and communities across the Pacific Northwest, including Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, through grantmaking that strengthens the region’s educational, social, spiritual, and cultural base in ways that are innovative and sustainable. 

Five Valleys has hired Minette Johnson to serve as its new Planned Giving Officer. Johnson had previously contracted with Five Valleys to help create a three-year vision for the organization's planned giving program, allowing her to hit the ground running.

“Whether you care about recreational opportunities, keeping farmers and ranchers on the land, or connecting wildlife habitat, there are simple, inexpensive ways to help Five Valleys continue the vital work we have been doing for the past fifty-two years”, says Johnson. “By including a gift of cash, securities or real estate in your will or by naming Five Valleys as the beneficiary of your retirement plan, you can ensure the places you love will be protected in the future.”

Board President Iverson adds, “If you cherish our community open spaces, like Mount Jumbo, Mount Sentinel, the North Hills, and Mount Dean Stone, or special places like the Flint Creek Valley, please consider leaving a legacy gift to Five Valleys.”

Interested in leaving a legacy by making a planned gift to Five Valleys? Contact Minette Johnson, Planned Giving Officer, at 406-549-0755 or at
Read more about the grant award in the Missoula Current

Header photo of a young conservationist on the Bluebird Preserve by Athena Photography


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