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About Us

The Gianforte Family Foundation was established in 2004. Since its creation the foundation has become one of the top giving foundations in Montana, giving more than $108 million to initiatives that align with our mission, vision, and focus.

Our Vision

To see individuals and families in Montana flourish, spiritually and economically.

Our Mission

We support organizations that equip people to improve their lives in a sustainable way.

Our Focus

  • Christian organizations engaged in outreach work, strengthening families, and helping the needy.
  • Organizations in Montana that work to improve education, support entrepreneurship, and create jobs.
  • Organizations that enhance the local community of Bozeman, Montana.

Our Values

  • We appreciate the work being done by non-profits and thoughtfully consider and respond to each grant request.
  • We seek accountability in our grantees and expect the same of ourselves.
  • We prioritize strong leadership in our grantees, both at the board and operating level, and we seek to develop long-term relationships with these leaders.
  • We value honesty and openness between us and our grantees, even if the results are not as expected. We expect our grantees to keep us updated throughout the project, especially in cases of unanticipated events.
  • We prefer solutions that are either proactive, preventative, or reach the root of the problem.
  • We provide connections inside our network to help applicants be more effective through additional funding sources or collaboration with other non-profits.

Board of Trustees

greg gianforte
Greg Gianforte

Greg and his wife Susan were married in 1988 and have called Bozeman home since 1995. They are parents to three boys and a girl whom they raised in Montana. Greg is a serial entrepreneur and has mentored hundreds of Montana entrepreneurs.

Greg founded RightNow Technologies in Bozeman in 1997, which grew to more than 1,100 employees worldwide. RightNow was the largest commercial employer in Bozeman and the only publicly traded technology company headquartered in Montana before being purchased by Oracle in 2012. Greg has served on numerous local, national, public, private, for-profit and not-for profit boards.

In 2017 Greg was elected to the U.S. Congress as the sole representative for Montana in the US House of Representatives, returning to Montana each weekend from Washington, DC to visit with neighbors and constituents throughout the state. He successfully ran for governor of Montana in 2020 and was sworn in as the state’s top administrative official on January 4, 2021. Greg is proud and humbled to serve Montanans in this role.  He is an avid sportsman and loves to cook.

susan gianforte
Susan Gianforte

Susan is the daughter of German immigrants to New York City, where she was born and raised by her widowed mother.  She holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, an MS in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley, and an MBA from NYU, the last of which she earned while working for Bell Laboratories.

Susan resigned as senior manager from NNC/KPMG in 1993 after their third child was born and started helping Greg in his new entrepreneurial efforts following the sale of his first start-up, Brightwork.  Greg and Susan moved their family to Bozeman, Montana in 1995 and had their fourth child.  After running operations in a number of Greg’s smaller startups, she was controller for the first two years of RightNow Technologies.

Currently, Susan manages the finances of their family foundation and other family entities.  She considers herself blessed and honored to serve as Montana’s First Lady, working alongside Greg in his new role as governor of Montana.

richard gianforte
Richard Gianforte

Richard grew up in Bozeman, MT as the oldest child of Susan and Greg.  After graduating high school at Petra Academy, he went to Caltech and received a double major in Computer Science and Business.

Richard currently works in Seattle at  He enjoys a wide variety of sports and outdoor activities including ultimate frisbee and backpacking.  He and his wife Krissy enjoy taking their dog out whenever possible.


catherine koenen
Catherine Koenen

Executive Director

Catherine grew up in Anchorage, Alaska and moved to Bozeman in 1998 to study at Montana State University, where she earned her master’s degree in architecture in 2003. After college she worked in land use planning for several years before taking time off to stay home with her children. In 2013 she began working for the Gianforte Family Foundation and has found great reward helping organizations throughout Montana serve the state’s most vulnerable. She especially enjoys site visits to nonprofits, where she can learn more about their work and meet the people involved. In addition to her foundation work, Catherine manages a busy household and cherishes time with her husband, four children, and family dog, Fern.

joy churchill
Joy Churchill

Program Director

Joy and her husband moved from their home state of Ohio to Bozeman, Montana in 1999 to work for RightNow Technologies (now Oracle). In the summer of 2003, Joy left her position at RightNow to stay home with her two young children and work as a marketing consultant. As her children grew, Joy re-entered the work force in the non-profit sector. She has experience in non-profit leadership, marketing, and information technology. Joy has a B.A. in History from The Ohio State University.

joy churchill
Tim Guardipee

Native Initiatives Director

Born and raised on the Blackfeet reservation in Montana, Tim is enrolled Little Shell and descendent Blackfeet. He graduated from the University of Montana in 2003 with a degree in Business Administration. Tim has enjoyed working with Native small businesses and Tribal communities, primarily working in nonprofits through his years of experience in business, community, and economic development. Outside of work, Tim stays active with his wife and four children through a variety of outdoor activities, gardening, watching their children’s sports, and spending time with family on their parents’ ranches.  

joy churchill
Denise Czuprynski

Communications Manager

After earning a B.A. in Communications from the University of Buffalo, Denise served as PR director for a small college in the Adirondack Mountains. She has held marketing and advancement roles in higher education and nonprofits ever since. A lifelong love for the outdoors called her to Montana in 2016; a passion for doing meaningful work that makes a difference brought her to the Gianforte Family Foundation in 2019. Denise enjoys hiking, camping, and finding joy in everyday moments.

The Gianforte Family Foundation is grateful for our partners’ ongoing work to equip people to improve their lives in a sustainable way.

Eligibility Criteria

Tax status:  We only fund work done by organizations ruled to have tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Geographic location:  In most cases, our funding is limited to organizations in Montana.  We will occasionally provide funding to organizations that operate nationally, when their work aligns with our focus areas and impacts the nation as a whole.  We rarely fund work overseas unless we have a personal connection with the group doing the work.

Funding amounts:  We do not generally fund projects where we are the sole providers of funding, nor do we like to account for more than 50% of the budget for a project (and in most cases, less).  In addition, we prefer to start with smaller amounts for organizations that we have not worked with in the past.

Focus areas: We limit our funding to work that falls within one of our focus areas:

If your project aligns with our criteria, press the button below:

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