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"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
The Missoula Project for Nonprofit Excellence

During 2013-2014, BSI will partner with the Missoula Community Foundation and other area foundations to launch The Missoula Project for Nonprofit Excellence (MPNE). This place-based initiative will:

  • Build the organizational capacity of Missoula-area nonprofits using the successful approach pioneered through BSI’s Montana Nonprofit Connections (MNC) Program;
  • Create a community-centered philanthropic partnership to design and fund the project; and,
  • Test and refine a sustainable model for capacity building grantmaking that is easily replicated across Montana.

MNC is a state-wide, collaborative grant-making program between BSI and many foundation partners. It helped MNC nonprofit participants become more effective and efficient in managing internal operations and accomplishing their missions. MNC-style capacity building uses Assessment Awards to enable an organization determine its needs and priorities for improvement; and Project Grants to support the costs of engaging a consultant to help build organizational capacities.

MPNE  will build a community-centered philanthropic partnership to:

  • Co-design the project;
  • Increase the number of funders engaged in capacity building;
  • Support and sustain local capacity-building grantmaking;
  • Refine the MNC process and support materials for a place-based approach;
  • Expand community resources to support the project; and,
  • Engage staffed community foundations and other funders interested in replicating the project in their communities.

MPNE is being launched at a time when regional funders in the Pacific Northwest have begun to recognize the significant role community foundations can play in building the capacity of nonprofit organizations in their area. Participants in Philanthropy Northwest’s 2010 Community Foundation Initiative reported in Community Foundations as Capacity Builders that:

  • A capacity building role can increase a community foundation’s visibility in the community;
  • Nonprofits built stronger networks and relationships as a result of capacity building activities; and,
  • Capacity building work creates opportunities for community foundations to partner with peer civic organizations.

For more information about the project, Click Here.  

MPNE's initial participating funders are: