Community Leadership

Identifying Community Needs

Acquiring critical information for the future.

In this fast-pace, short-attention-span world, does Park County have an accurate understanding of its strengths and weakness, and does it have clear roadmap into the future?  How often are we as citizens, businesses, school districts, city and county government, social service agencies and nonprofit organizations working in collaboration, cooperation and common purpose?

For the most part, the answer to that question is, “No.”  We don’t have shared information verifiably informing us of actionable priorities and strengths that can be reinforced for common purpose and public benefit.  To a great extent, “We don’t know what we don’t know.” In this era of increasingly limited public and private resources, as a community we don’t have a clear picture of how we should prioritize public needs.

In partnership with other local organizations, county and city government leadership and concerned private citizens, the Park County Community Foundation has undertaken an unprecedented community needs assessment designed to create a social and economic “profile” of the county to fill that information gap.

Our vision:  All public and philanthropic resources in the Park County community are continuously targeted to close gaps between the current situation of our community and an agreed upon ideal situation.  Scarce resources are allocated to closing gaps according to agreed-upon priorities, and the strategies, interventions, and programs to which resources are allocated are effective in closing the gaps between current and ideal.

Our mission:  Develop and maintain for the benefit of local governments, nonprofit organizations, private sector interests and the philanthropic community a county-wide “profile” of Park County, Montana, across significant quality-of-life dimensions including but not limited to public health, social services, education, economic development, affordable housing, public infrastructure, public safety, tax and levy capacity, philanthropic capacity and factors affecting the planning ability of nonprofit organizations serving the county. The profile will serve as a continuum to measure and record progress against selected benchmarks toward the mutual goals of making best-choice use of limited public and private resources and improving the quality of life for all Park County citizens.

Next: A community effort to help high school students find success.