About Forward Montana Foundation

We know politics can be an unfriendly place for most young people. It’s boring, wonky, and feels slimy some of the time. But rather than dipping out, we’re asking our friends to dive in. We believe if more young people vote and advocate civically for public policies that reflect their values, a more supportive climate will be created to advance policies that better their lives and the lives of all Montanans. This change will happen faster if more young Montanans have the leadership skills and training to be effective civic advocates.

That’s why, we’re educating, engaging, and organizing young Montanans to shape their democracy to improve their lives and the lives of their fellow Montanans.

Learn more about our impact on the 2018 election. View our full 2018 Election Impact Report here.

Our Values:

Inclusive – We work toward a democracy that celebrates and reflects the diversity of our generation while being actively anti-oppressive through our actions and choices.

Progressive – We believe in moving us not left, not right, but forward. We are transforming our government and communities to become more just, sustainable, and equitable.

Fun – We make politics fun by building authentic relationships with other young people, challenging power with humor, and recognizing that laughter is a powerful political tool.

Innovative – We deliver inventive strategies and solutions to complex cultural and political challenges. We are on the cutting edge when it comes to young people’s participation in politics.

Young person-led – We seek to ensure that our members’ voices are directly reflected in our decisions and that young leaders are at the forefront of our movement.

Power building – We are changing the culture of civic engagement by helping our communities build the skills, resources, and leadership to create meaningful change in Montana.

Our Theory of Change:

If we deepen young Montanan’s’ culture of civic engagement and build the knowledge, skills, and leadership of young Montanans who reflect the diversity of our state to create change in their communities, more young people will become lifetime voters and activists, run for and win public office, and advance issues and conversations that address the complex challenges facing young Montanans today and tomorrow.

How We Got our Start

Homegrown & Grassroots

Forward Montana Foundation was founded in 2004 by a group of passionate students at the University of Montana who felt there were a lot of barriers getting young people involved in politics. Their first fights were at the university and the local level and focused on recycling, renewable energy, sexual assault and tenant rights. We’ve now grown into the largest youth civic engagement organization in Montana, with year-round staff in Billings, Bozeman, and Missoula.

Our Work

Building Power 365 Days a Year

We work year-round to build big power under the big sky for young Montanans. Our four buckets of work include voter registration, voter mobilization, leadership development, and issue advocacy.