What is PRCEF?


The Powder River Community Endowment Fund (PRCEF) seeks to preserve the economic vitality of the Greater Powder River Area for future generations. The PRCEF will allow us to control our own destiny by using the knowledge of our people to develop our resources and to plan projects from a "grass roots" level rather than waiting for others to decide our future for us.

How did the PRCEF come to be?

The Ford Foundation issued grants to four states : Montana, New Mexico, New Hampshire, and Tennessee, as part of a rural initiative program. The purpose of the program is to strengthen rural communities all over the world.

The Montana Community Foundation (MCF) was the recipient of the grant in Montana and chose to offer the money in the form of matching funds to three communities across the state -- the Great Powder River Area, Scobey (Daniels County) and Browning. The decisions on how to best use the money was left up to each recipient to support decision-making from the "grass roots" level.

The Ford Foundation is looking to us for information to record our successes and experiences so that we can serve as a model for other communities all over the world. We chose the name "Powder River Community Endowment Fund" because we are confident that we, in the greater Powder River County area, can serve as a example and show other rural communities how to work toward economic vitality.

Through the efforts of the PRCEF, monetary gifts will not only be memorialized forever on a quilt displayed in the courthouse lobby, but will go on providing a continuous source of income to the many communities needs forever. We can be proud of the money we have raised in the past and in the future.

We are on the forefront of empowering our own people to aid community causes. The PRCEF is an innovative and powerful way of surviving in the next century.

How does the PRCEF work?

As a Agency Fund of the Montana Community Foundation, the PRCEF has a 501(C)(3) non profit status. The School/Community Development Council (SCDC) retains management of the PRCEF earnings for local projects while MCF exercises fiscal oversight, fund accounting, record keeping, reporting and investment of funds.

The people in our area have always been generous when supporting the various projects and needs of the community. The problem is that once the money is raised and spent, it's gone and has to be raised again when another "need" arises.

By setting up a permanent endowment fund, money that is contributed will earn more money and become a continuous source of income for the Powder River region. A permanent endowment fund has two parts: the principal which builds but is never spent, and the earnings which will be spent as the community directs. The School Community Development Council grants out monies from MCF to local and surrounding community organizations each year.

WE HAVE REACHED OUR MATCHING GOAL!! December, 2011 our Historical Endowment Fund balance with Montana Community Foundation reached our matching fund amount of $117,000! It has taken us a lot longer than anticipated to raise our match monies, but we had faith and determination that someday we would reach our goal and we did!!

Many creative and needed improvements will come from the PRCEF - an innovative and powerful means of achieving success for the communities in our area.