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What People Say About Us
"Because of BSI’s dedication and commitment to the sector and the process they designed and implemented, Montana now has this wonderful resource: the Montana Nonprofit Association."

Peggy M. Owens, CFRE

Sage Solutions Nonprofit Consulting, LLC

Opening the Window of Opportunity: A Report on the Montana Early Care and Education Survey of Funders

This 2012 report presents the findings of a first-ever survey of 190 Montana and regional foundations regarding early care and education. BSI conducted this survey as part of its Montana Early Care Initiative, one goal of which is to encourage enhanced philanthropic support for early care and education. The survey found:

  • Considerable Interest in early care and education;
  • Substantial awareness of the societal importance of early care and education;
  • Widely varying grantmaking experiences in early care and education;
  • Large funders being the most interested and experienced; and,
  • Funders having substantial collective knowledge about early care and education.

 The report also contains:

  • Early Care and Education: A Primer for Foundations to help orient funders less familiar with the field;
  • Highlights of the growth over the past five years of collaborative and other activities by funders and state and regional initiatives in the early childhood development field;
  • Suggestions for possible directions funders might take to address issues in the field;
  • Summaries of in-depth interviews with funders about their experience funding early care and education; and,
  • Local, state and national resources and those of philanthropic institutions that were identified by survey respondents.

A New Day for the Bitterroot: Stronger Communities Through Stronger Nonprofits

This 2012 report presents the findings of a first-ever survey of 75 nonprofits in Ravalli County, Montana regarding priority interests in training and consulting services for seven key categories of nonprofit capacity building. It highlights the need for increased capacity in fundraising and public communications for nonprofits of all types, as well as the need to expand philanthropic resources in the county. The report also provides a snapshot overview of the county's nonprofit sector and the 223 nonprofits that comprise it, as well as recommendations for next steps and strategies for translating the survey findings into future capacity building programs for Bitterroot nonprofits. The Ravalli County Nonprofit Partnership (RCNP) commissioned BSI to conduct the survey and report. RCNP is an all-volunteer collaborative effort of nonprofit and community leaders who are working together to increase education, training, consulting and funding resources to help build the capacities of nonprofits in the Bitterroot, strengthen their operations, and increase their effectiveness.

2008 Guide to Supporting Montana's Local and County Community Foundations

As you will read about in this Guide, Montana – like the rest of America – is undergoing the largest intergenerational transfer of wealth in history. Because of our demographics, this transfer will happen sooner in Montana than in the urban states. This gives financial advisors unprecedented opportunity to use the tools of their profession not only to serve their clients’ financial and estate planning needs, but also to connect Montanans’ love of their communities to charitable gifts that help build local community foundations. These gifts are given in perpetuity, inspire others to leave a philanthropic legacy, and develop an ever-expanding resource to serve untold generations into the future.

Philanthropic Divide – 2007 Update

This report highlights the most recent assets and grant making figures for the 10 most philanthropically challenged states in 2005. This update also explores some long-term trends among the bottom 10 states each year in relation to their wealthier counterparts, as well as the nation as a whole. Philanthropic Divide 2007 draws attention not only to the dramatic gap between those states with the most assets and those with the least, but also the striking rate at which that gap is growing.

♦ The following books about nonprofit organizational capacity building and the nonprofit organizational assessment process are also recommended:

Funding Effectiveness: Lessons in Building Nonprofit Capacity 
(especially the chapter by Janine Lee).

Funder's Guide to Organizational Assessment: Tools, Processes, and Their Use in Building Capacity, Fieldstone Alliance. Fieldstone Alliance has numerous books on building capacity of nonprofit organizations.