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What People Say About Us
"Our partnership with BSI has been a wonderful opportunity to strengthen public private partnerships on behalf of the early care and education industry in our state."

Jamie Palagi, Former Chief, Early Childhood Services Bureau

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

Our Mission

The Big Sky Institute for the Advancement of Nonprofits (BSI) builds Montana's communities by strengthening nonprofits and expanding philanthropy.
Welcome to Big Sky Institute 

BSI is a 501(c)(3) research and development institute that serves Montana and other Philanthropic Divide states through a unique approach involving research, dissemination, education, leadership development and special projects. Nonprofit organizations and communities in these very rural states face uniquely difficult obstacles because of their low population densities, challenged economies, and limited philanthropic and nonprofit sector resources. To help overcome these barriers, BSI develops organizational support systems for both the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors.

Through our programs and projects, BSI’s staff serves as a resource to foundations, augmenting their organizational capacities for various collaborative efforts involving those foundations that partner with us. We also carry out research and education activities for foundations that work with BSI to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the larger foundation community in Montana, and where there are common interests that could be enhanced by collaborative grantmaking. Through these collaborative efforts, we also serve as a grantmaker in various capacity building ventures.

Montana is BSI’s headquarters state; it is also our learning laboratory for carrying out BSI’s unique mission. We pilot capacity building and philanthropy development programs here because we know the landscape, history, culture and players here better than anywhere else. We then refine our programs and share our approaches for replication and adaptation in other rural states.

News and Updates

[02-25-2015] BSI Submits Comments to the Attorney General of Montana opposing the proposal regarding the disposition of the net proceeds from the sale of Community Medical Center in Missoula.  Read More...

[02-26-2015] 2015 Giving Tuesday-Helena Orientation Meeting set for March 24  Read More...

[12-17-2014] 2014 Giving Tuesday – Helena Community Awareness Campaign Generated $ 22,949 for 30 Area Nonprofit Organizations  Read More...

[10-22-2014] Space Available For Upcoming Sessions of Fundamentals for Fundraisers and Welcome to Helena Seminar Series  Read More...

We Thank Our Funders

Lora L. and Martin N. Kelley Family Foundation Trust