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"In our philanthropically limited region, BSI is uniquely focused on developing collaborative approaches to build rural communities, regional, and statewide nonprofit efforts."

Mark Kelley, Montana Trustee

The Lora L. and Martin N. Kelley Family Foundation
Assessment Awards Program Description

Montana Nonprofit Connections’ (MNC) purpose is to strengthen the capacity and capabilities of Montana-based nonprofit organizations so they will become more effective and efficient in managing their internal operations, and better serve their clients, supporters, and communities.

The MNC Assessment Awards provide an entry point to the MNC program. Interested organizations may apply through a competitive process. The board and staff of an award recipient will then work with a highly experienced and skilled Montana-based consultant to conduct a comprehensive organizational assessment process to determine organizational capacities, needs and priorities for improvement.

Upon completion of the assessment process, the organization will determine how it will obtain the expertise needed to address the organizational development priorities it has identified. Resources might be available locally or the organization may apply for an MNC Project Grant to help it engage a professional consultant.

Guidelines and Deadlines:
Information about Assessment Award grant deadlines will be made available through Montana Nonprofit Association’s eNews. Interested organizations can sign up for eNews on MNA’s home page.

Organizations that receive an Assessment Award will have the following responsibilities:
  1. Providing the Assessment Consultant with organizational documents, e.g., your board list, by-laws, budget and financial reports, and other relevant items;
  2. Forming a Leadership Team to communicate with the Assessment Consultant;
  3. Planning for the information gathering process and meetings, and informing board and staff members about the goals, expectations, and time commitments for the process;
  4. Devoting staff and board time to completing online surveys of the organization’s current practices and capacities;
  5. Hosting Assessment meetings and conference calls to identify strengths and challenges, and determine how to address key challenges. Your organization will be responsible for meeting logistics and costs;
  6. Reviewing and commenting on draft reports. Your organization will receive a final report of the key findings;
  7. Completing an evaluation of the MNC Assessment process;
  8. Communicating with the Assessment Consultant and MNC if activities will be delayed, or if your organization is unable or unwilling to complete them; and
  9. Participate in a follow-up phone call with MNC six months after the end of the Assessment to discuss how your organization used its results and recommendations.
Evaluation and Reporting:
After the assessment is completed, we’ll ask you to evaluate your experience with MNC and the assessment process. A final written report will be due within 30 days of the end of the assessment process. Follow-up evaluation will be conducted at six and twelve months to ask you about implementation and longer-term impact on the organization.

In the final report, we’ll ask you to address the following items:
  • what you have learned;
  • timelines for implementation;
  • other elements you would like to highlight; and
  • your overall experience with MNC and any suggestions you have for improvement

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