WE BELIEVE… that Montana’s unique ability to connect people to each other and to nature has the power to build stronger, healthier, happier communities, and that we have a role in preserving Montana’s beauty for future generations.

AMB West Philanthropies comprises the nonprofit interests of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation in the Western United States, which includes West Creek Ranch, AMB West Community Fund, AMB West Conservation, AMB West Base Camp, and AMB West Challenge Course. Through grant making, convening, advocacy and in-kind services, AMB West Philanthropies promotes positive change in peoples’ lives and builds and enhances the communities in which they live.

AMB West Philanthropies programs include:

  • Through the associate-led AMB West Community Fund, staff at Mountain Sky Guest Ranch and West Creek Ranch give back to the communities in which they live and work through grant-making focused on early childhood development, youth empowerment and development, community wellness and youth suicide prevention.
  • After purchasing West Creek Ranch in 2017, Arthur Blank has transformed the property into an inspired space being offered by invitation-only to select nonprofit organizations, business partners and associates of The Blank Family of Businesses. The ranch provides the perfect setting for meetings, leadership development, social gatherings, recreation and inspiration.
  • We are committed to conservation in Montana, managing our property and associated businesses in a responsible and sustained manner and being a valued neighbor and community member.
  • AMB West Basecamp and AMB West Challenge Course provide opportunities for guests and nonprofit organizations to use the outdoors and nature to educate, build trust and create connections.

WE BELIEVE … in giving back to the communities in which we live and work—through physical involvement, personal philanthropy, and grants made to nonprofit organizations through the AMB West Community Fund (“The Fund”). The mission of The Fund is to enhance the quality of life for residents of Montana, particularly in Park and Gallatin Counties.

The Fund was established in 2001 and more than $4.6 million in grants has been distributed. After assessing the landscape of existing programs and areas of need through conversations with community stakeholders, The Fund has identified four areas of focus for 2019: early childhood development, youth empowerment and development, community wellness and youth suicide prevention.

Known by guests for their caring and attentive service, the associates of AMB West work to earn that same reputation in their local community. AMB West Associates review grant proposals, attend site visits and provide recommendations for investments made by The Fund. Associates strive to incorporate The Blank Family of Businesses Core Values in all aspects of their community giving.

Investment Strategy

Our 2019 priorities include:

  • Early Childhood Development: The Fund will award grants to organizations providing children, birth to five, with quality opportunities that will prepare them for successful lifelong development. The Fund is especially interested in projects that promote healthy parent-child relationships, as well as social and emotional skills among parents and children.
  • Youth Empowerment and Development: The Fund seeks creative nonprofit efforts to improve youth development and nurture young leaders, especially programs that empower youth and cultivate young stewards of land and wildlife through education, physical activity, wilderness experiences and outdoor adventure.
  • Happiness & Health Through Wellness: Recognizing that lifestyle changes can yield dramatic positive results for the mind and body, The Fund will consider proposals integrating wellness programs in a variety of settings, including but not limited to mental health services, juvenile justice services, schools and family counseling. Some approaches may include practices such as yoga, meditation, outdoor recreation and nutritional education.
  • Youth Suicide Prevention: Montana has the highest suicide rate of any state in the U.S., and Park County has the fourth highest rate among Montana counties. For that reason, The Fund seeks proposals for programmatic or policy innovations that will contribute to a sustained, long-term reduction in youth suicide in Park County. More information regarding submitting a youth suicide prevention grant will be available on December 3.

Application Requirements

The AMB West Community Fund supports creative approaches and innovative programs that improve outcomes for children and families in Park and Gallatin Counties. The Fund will only consider supporting organizations that can demonstrate the ability to foster community cooperation and collaboration. Nonprofit organizations focused on advocacy or policy changes are eligible to apply and must demonstrate how their activities hold promise for large-scale systemic change

For full application requirements, preferences, priorities and application instructions, click here to access the AMB West Community Fund Grant Guidelines

In addition to the grant application, all applicants must submit a video; a link to submit a video will be provided within the grant application and details are included in the Grant Guidelines.

To submit a 2019 grant application for $20,000 or less, click here. The invitation code is AMBWCFSUM.

To submit a 2019 grant application for more than $20,000,click here. The invitation code is AMBWESTCF.

Upcoming Grant Workshops

If you are planning to apply for support from the Health and Happiness Through Wellness or Suicide Prevention priority areas, please attend the corresponding workshop.

Health and Happiness Workshop
Location: Shane Lalani Center for the Arts (415 E Lewis Street, Livingston)
Date: December 3rd
Time: 4-6pm and a Social Hour following the Workshop
To Register: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RXXQX2S

Youth Suicide Prevention
Location: Shane Lalani Center for the Arts (415 E Lewis Street, Livingston)
Date: December 5th
Time: 3-5pm and a Social Hour following the Workshop
To Register: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MS7LFWB

WE BELIEVE … that a place can serve as a destination for people that want to come together and collectively try to make a difference, strengthen their own communities, and find a purpose far greater than themselves.

After purchasing West Creek Ranch in 2017, Arthur Blank has transformed the property into an inspired space being offered by invitation-only to select nonprofit organizations, business partners and associates of the Blank Family of Businesses. The ranch provides the perfect setting for meetings, leadership development, social gatherings, recreation and inspiration. West Creek offers 5-star service and recreation amenities that ensure every guest has an unforgettable experience during their stay.

While all the Blank Family of Businesses six core values touch West Creek Ranch, ‘Giving Back to Others’ manifests throughout, which is seen through its mission of serving others and taking care of the land on which it resides. Invited organizations will experience a one-of-a-kind setting to further their charitable and conservation efforts while strengthening connections and inspiring ideas through team building.

More information about activities and accommodations at West Creek Ranch is available at WestCreekRanch.org.

WE BELIEVE … in sustaining, enhancing and being good stewards of the natural resources of Paradise Valley.

Through the Montana Conservation Fund, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation will invest in innovations and local capacity that promise to protect the natural resources of Paradise Valley for generations to come. In its community-based grant making, the Foundation adheres to the same values that the Blank Family follows in managing its AMB West ranch properties. In the community philanthropy, the Foundation directors honor these values by listening to and learning from residents; recognizing that navigating tradeoffs requires thoughtful, inclusive approaches; and considering grants for program delivery, nonprofit capacity building and advocacy. The Foundation also encourages collaboration among partners working for collective positive impact in the Upper Yellowstone Watershed.

INVESTMENT STRATEGY

The Blank Foundation Directors are currently focusing investment on the Yellowstone River, including the conservation and responsible management of the Upper Yellowstone Watershed.

For 2019, the Foundation is especially interested in breakthrough solutions and partnerships that advance the following priorities for the Yellowstone River:

  • Make widely available accurate, reliable information about the watershed via scientific data management systems. The Foundation has a special interest in providing landowners, water managers and residents with expanded real-time data on indicators of watershed health.
  • Preserve and improve the health of the watershed, with a special interest in improved drought response and preparedness.
  • Engage and mobilize residents through outreach efforts on watershed-related issues.
  • Conserve and protect natural resources in the watershed.

How to Apply for a Grant

The AMB West Conservation Fund welcomes grant inquiries. The grant process begins with nonprofit organizations with a 501c3 designation submitting a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) to the Foundation. In two to three pages, the LOI should summarize the project, the timeline and the budget needs. The LOI should also include notes about any critical partnerships already in place and the status of funding from other sources. Blank Foundation staff will review and follow up with organizations submitting LOIs to determine whether to invite a full grant application. Full proposals are by invitation only and will be evaluated based on the proposal’s impact, leverage, influence, and scale, as well as proposed methodology, expected outcomes, and evaluation methodology. The Blank Foundation Board of Directors makes all grant decisions.

Please direct inquiries to: Whitney Tilt, Director of Lands and Wildlife Conservation.

WE BELIEVE … that coming together and exploring issues in the beauty of the outdoors can create innovation and educational exchange.

AMB West Basecamp provides a rustic campus for nonprofit organizations to develop and operate their youth-based, outdoor leadership, and natural resource conservation programs. Basecamp is a resource in Montana and the greater Northern Rocky Mountain region provided by The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation in collaboration with Mountain Sky Guest Ranch.

For details on accommodations, click here.

Investment Strategy

The Foundation invites nonprofit organizations to utilize AMB West Basecamp for youth-based, outdoor leadership, and natural resource conservation programs. Basecamp is available to regional nonprofits free of charge as part of our ongoing commitment to promoting innovation, community and stewardship.

For booking inquiries please contact Whitney Lane, Challenge Course and Basecamp Manager.

WE BELIEVE …. the outdoors provides ways to learn and build teamwork, understanding and trust with one another.

AMB West Challenge Course was built in 2015 to serve the needs of our community. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, Mountain Sky Guest Ranch and Project Adventure, this course has all the tools necessary to create shared experiences amongst diverse groups. From high adventure to intentional facilitation, the nine high ropes elements, four low ropes elements, and well-versed staff are able to customize programming for Mountain Sky Guest Ranch, West Creek Ranch and nonprofit organizations operating youth-based, outdoor leadership and natural resource conservation groups.

The AMB West Challenge Course includes high and low elements built on telephone poles. Two safety/belay technologies are employed: dynamic and static. The dynamic belay utilizes a safety team on the ground while the static belay clips the user into each element utilizing a “smart key” system that ensures the user is on belay at all times. The high elements are placed in three different clusters with two additional peak activities located in separate but nearby locations. The low elements are spread around the program area.

Full course details are available here.

To inquire about booking the AMB West Challenge Course, email Whitney Lane and include the following:

  • Name
  • Contact information (email and phone number)
  • Dates requested
  • Approximate arrival and departure time
  • Number of students and chaperones or adults
  • What space you are hoping to use. Not sure? That’s ok, the details above will get us closer to the answer.