Grantees Announced for New Program Aimed at Strengthening Local Nonprofits

The Poverello Center and the International Wildlife Film Festival/Roxy Theater have been selected to participate in the inaugural grant cycle of the Missoula Project for Nonprofit Excellence (MPNE). The program is based on the principle that stronger nonprofits will yield a stronger community. MPNE participants will work with a local consultant to assess their organizations and identify and execute a capacity-building project. The expectation is that awardees will become more effective and efficient in managing their internal operations, and in serving clients, program participants, and their communities.

The Missoula Project for Nonprofit Excellence (MPNE)  is a capacity building grants program being conducted as a pilot in partnership with the Helena-based Big Sky Institute for the Advancement of Nonprofits (BSI).  MPNE is a place-based approach to capacity building grantmaking that grew out of a multi-year demonstration phase developed by BSI and a group of Montana funders.

The Missoula Community Foundation is the hub for coordinating MPNE, and is working with BSI, the Llewellyn Foundation, Oro y Plata Foundation and Pride Foundation in funding, program design and implementation.  Supplemental funding has been provided by the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation, Pleiades Foundation and Solid Rock Foundation.

A Llewellyn Foundation spokesperson commented, “Llewellyn Foundation trustees are excited to support this project.  First, we see it as a bold experiment in collaborative funding within a community that allows for pooling of resources to address organizational or operational issues that nonprofits oftentimes don’t have resources to deal with.  Second, we see the Poverello and the International Wildlife Film Festival/Roxy Theater, though very different in mission, as important community institutions that impact the lives of Missoulians in necessary and enriching ways.  It’s our hope that these MPNE grants will help both organizations move forward in reaching their potential.”
According to Executive Director Eran Pehan, the Poverello Center’s imminent move to a new facility makes this program particularly relevant. “We are eager to explore how our organization can stretch and grow in a space that provides not just the means to do our job, but that also provides a sense of hope for the homeless men and women we serve. The timing of this opportunity could not be better for our organization and will provide us the direction we need to create not only a more efficient facility, but a more effective organization.”

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