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About the McKenzie County Community Foundation

The McKenzie County Community Foundation was established by a group of residents concerned about the lack of funding for local organizations. It provides a method of receiving donations and distributing grants to benefit projects or nonprofit organizations in McKenzie County. The Foundation is affiliated with the North Dakota Community Foundation, which is a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation under IRS code 501(c)(3) and North Dakota Law.

The McKenzie County Community Foundation is managed locally by a group of volunteers whose main activities are building the fund and recommending grants annually. 

FUNDING: (click her to make a gift(s)). Committee work is supported by the fund(s) listed to which donors can give and help us in our mission to serve the community. 

ENDOWMENT: Is the primary fund, and Qualifies for 40% ND Tax Credit. (click on link for requirements) Roughly 4% of funds are put to work in the community used annually as "grants". 

Non-Endowment PROJECT Fund: Provides immediate granting, and funds for marketing launching events. Qualifies as a charitable gift if no benefit is given in return, but NOT for 40% ND income tax credit.

NDCF is the support system for MCCF with over 40 years providing comprehensive charitable services to ND. This includes donor gift planning and bequest planning for individuals, company leaders, families, and non-profits, and fiduciary services such as accounting, audit and money management. This allows local volunteer committees to focus on telling their story of their foundation impact through marketing, granting, and growing the fund. 

Local Advisory Committee

Committee Members:
Daniel Stenberg (Chair)
Desiree Sorenson
Jan Dodge
Ty Skarda (Vice Chair)
Doug Rolfson
Marcia Hellandsaas
Sara Fitzpatrick
Teale Wolds

McKenzie County Community Foundation (MCCF)
5th St NW Suite 525
Watford, ND 58854

Questions: Please email Daniel Stenberg at or the Community Foundation general inbox at

For anonymous giving, gift planning, or unique asset gifts, please contact John Heinen- NDCF Western ND Regional Director at (701) 590-4614 or

Please download and email or send to your family and friends as a way to show them what the foundation is going in the community. Thank you!

Marketing 2022 Brochure











Grant Summary Report 2019

Livable Community Donation Form

QUESTIONS click here

The McKenzie County Community Foundation has awarded over $82,000 in 60 grants since its inception in 2010. Recent grant awards are listed below.

Grants Awarded in 2023:  $12,180

  • Benefit Fund of McKenzie County Healthcare Systems - $3,000 for their Infant Bereavement and Chronic Pain Management Programs
  • Long X Arts Foundation - $2,000 to bring in Missoula Children's Theatre
  • Bakken Oil Rush Ministry - Watford City - $1,500 for their annual Toy Mall
  • Watford City Park District - $1,180 for the Badlands RC Build
  • Watford City Youth Basketball - $2,000 for their program
  • Hispanic Advocacy of North Dakota - $2,500 for La Posada 2023 (Hispanic Christmas program)

Grants Awarded in 2022

  • Benefit Fund of McKenzie County Healthcare Systems - $3,595 for a Nu Step Exercise Bike for Horizon Assisted Living
  • Long X Arts Foundation - $2,000 for the Missoula Children's Theatre
  • Bakken Oil Rush Ministry - Watford City - $1,500 to host a Thanksgiving Gathering
  • Watford City Park District - $1,500 for the Badlands RC Build
  • Running Free - $1,222 for a Santa Run and a Suicide Awareness Run
  • Badlands Gymnastics Club - $1,000 for the Blast in the Badlands
  • Trap, Neuter Rescue Foundation - $900 to spay and neuter strays
  • McKenzie County Heritage Association - $800 for Teddy's Kids Camp & Tator Tots

Grants Awarded in 2021

  • Dakota Children's Advocacy Center - $2,000 McKenzie County Child Abuse Satellite Clinic
  • Long X Arts Foundation - $2,000 Art On Main
  • McKenzie County Heritage Association - $500 Tater Tots
  • McKenzie County Imagination Library - $500 Library Fundraising
  • Running Free - $2,000 Awareness Runs, Santa Run & Suicide Awareness Run
  • T4 - $500 Tools Trades Torque Tech (Tomorrow's Innovative Workforce in Our Schools Today)
  • WCHS Music Boosters - $1,000 Spring Band Trip Disneyworld Orlando FL
  • Vision West ND - $1,200 Hispanic Inclusion in Watford City & McKenzie County

Grants Awarded in 2020

  • Badlands Gymnastics Club - $400 Nodak Northern Lights Gymnastics Meet
  • Bakken Oil Rush Ministry - $2,000 Winter Outer Wear Apparel Watford City Children
  • BIO Girls - $1,500 Operating Support
  • Long X Arts Foundation - $2,000 Missoula Children's Theater
  • McKenzie County Heritage Assoc. - $500 Children's Corner/Tater Tot's
  • Rough Rider Center - $2,000 Lifeguard Training Equipment

Grants Awarded in 2019

  • Badlands Search & Rescue - $500 BSAR Gear & Training Application 1
  • Bakken Oil Rush Ministry - $700 7th Annual Christmas Event & Toy Mall
  • BIO Girls - $1,000 Operating Support
  • Bismarck Public Schools - $500 T-4 Tools Trades Torque Tech Growing "New Industry" Opportunities
  • Watford City Mobile Pack - $500 Feed My Starving Children
  • Grassy Butte Quick Response Unit - $800 CPR Instructor Supplies
  • Long X Arts Foundation - $2,000 Senior Art Outreach
  • McKenzie County Heritage Assoc. - $390 Tater Tot's
  • McKenzie County Imagination Library - $600 Imagination Library Letter Campaign

Applications Open May 1st & Close on September 29th

We made it easy for you to apply online for a grant!

Step 1 - Review

Review the grant guidelines above to make sure your organization qualifies.

Step 2 - Register

Create an account on our Grant Portal. You will need your organization’s name, EIN, and executive officer's name. Be sure to write down your user name (email address) and password.

Step 3 – Complete Your Application

After registering or logging in, you will arrive at the application section. Click “Apply” to the right of the grant program to which you wish to apply. If you do not see your desired grant program on the list, contact our office. You will be able to save your application and return later to complete it.

Step 4 -- Bookmark the address so when returning you can easily access. Or access with button above. 

Click here for more detailed instructions and tips for using our online grant system.


  • Grants shall be awarded only to those organizations designated by the IRS as 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax exempt groups, or government agencies. Groups without such designation seeking to apply may enlist a fiscal sponsor. Please contact John Heinen at NDCF for more infomration (701) 590-4614 or
  • Grants shall be awarded to organizations that serve McKenzie County residents.
  • Grants to religious organizations shall be limited to those activities which are non-sectarian and serve the entire community.
  • Extensions may be granted and additional grant application deadlines may be added at the discretion of the Advisory Committee.
  • Approved grant requests may be funded in full or partially, at the discretion of the Advisory Committee.
  • Requests for grants or scholarships for individuals will NOT be considered.
  • Requests for operating funds or day-to-day expenses will receive a lower priority.
  • Requests for projects or programs that serve a greater number of community residents will receive higher priority.


Plan Your Legacy

Making a lasting difference in our community or for future generations may be easier than you realize.  With very simple language in your will or trust, you can help the McKenzie County Community Foundation (MCCF) continue to support important projects and programs in our area forever.

Gifts to MCCF are carefully invested by our partner foundation - the North Dakota Community Foundation - to generate a  permanent source of charitable income.

If you have children or other relatives, you can leave a portion of your estate to them and a percentage to MCCF. Doing so provides for your heirs while honoring your charitable values.

Getting Started

Brothers Russell and Dale Brown left gifts to the communities of Lisbon and Milnor, ND, in their estate plans.

1.  Download our free Estate Planning Guide - it contains helpful information and things to consider as you develop your own unique plan.

2.  Reach out to a McKenzie County Community Foundation committee member to learn more about the charities and needs in our area.

3.  Consider discussing (confidentially) your vision with our NDCF gift planner John Heinen.  He has many years of experience helping donors create their charitable vision and better prepare for their discussions with financial planners. John's cell is 701-590-4614 or you can email him at

4.  Contact your professional advisors (financial planner, attorney and/or accountant) and ask for help in establishing a charitable gift to our foundation.

5.  Make sure your will or living trust is up-to-date and reflects your charitable goals.

6.  Consider notifying the charitable organizations about the gift you plan to leave them.  They will appreciate your generosity and will want to know what you’d like them to do with your eventual gift if it isn't clear.

Language for Your Will or Living Trust

Susanne Mattheis wished to support several different charitable organizations in Bismarck after she passed. NDCF helped her craft a plan that accomplished her charitable goals and provided long-term support to the Public Library, Symphony Orchestra, and five other local entities.

If you would like to include the McKenzie County Community Foundation in your will, here is some sample language to consider:

“I give and bequeath to the North Dakota Community Foundation (Tax ID Number 45-0336015), a qualified charitable organization under IRS 501(c)(3), located in Bismarck, North Dakota, ___________ (a percentage of the estate, specific dollar amount, or remainder of estate) for the McKenzie County Community Foundation, a permanent component of the North Dakota Community Foundation.”

*  Be sure to contact your legal advisor.


There are many other ways to make a deferred gift to your community, including

  • Making NDCF (and your specific community fund) the beneficiary of your life insurance policy, IRA, 401K, or commercial annuity
  • Establishing a Charitable Gift Annuity with NDCF
  • Other more sophisticated tools, depending on your unique situation

To investigate options and learn more about how other North Dakotans have given back, visit our planned giving website at