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What People Say About Us
"BSI, in identifying and publicizing “The Philanthropic Divide,” the large and growing gap in foundation assets between those states with the most assets and those with the least, has made an important contribution to the practice of philanthropy in the United States."

Benjamin R. Shute, Jr. Program Director, Democratic Practice

Corporate Secretary Emeritus, Rockefeller Brothers Fund

Our Mission

The Big Sky Institute for the Advancement of Nonprofits (BSI) builds rural 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

[04-04-2014] Grantees Announced for New Program Aimed at Strengthening Local Nonprofits  Read More...


[03-07-2014] Grant Deadline for 2014 Excellence in Nonprofit Communications Grant Award announced  Read More...


[02-12-2014] Helena nonprofits welcome Mary Rutherford, the CEO of the Montana Community Foundation  Read More...


 
We Thank Our Funders

Sky Arrow Fund of the Montana Community Foundation