News
Nov 19, 2014

FVCC Receives $15,000 Grant from the Applied Materials Foundation for Flathead County Nonprofits Needs Assessment Project

KALISPELL, MT Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC), the Flathead Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) Program and the Flathead Nonprofit Development Partnership will join in a collective approach to address nonprofit capacity issues in the region. Beginning this month, the partnering organizations will conduct a needs assessment of approximately 175 nonprofits headquartered in Flathead County. The results of the assessment will be used by FVCC Continuing Education Center and the Flathead Nonprofit Development Partnership to develop curriculum around the top four issues hindering nonprofit operations and capacity building. In addition, the data will be shared with foundations focused on awarding capacity-building grants.

“We are pleased to embark on this project,” stated Susie Burch, executive director, economic development and continuing education at Flathead Valley Community College. “It’s a means to support and train our entire community of vital nonprofit organizations and their employees.”

The Applied Materials Foundation recently granted Flathead Valley Community College $15,000 for the assessment project. This joint initiative will use the BEAR survey and a checklist of legal requirements for operating in Montana. Targeting a representative sample of regional nonprofits, the assessment will be completed in March and the report will be released in May. To maximize the learning and impact, the grant provides a number of tuition waivers for nonprofits with limited professional development budgets, allowing the training to benefit organizations of various sizes.

In Flathead County, 3.6 percent of all wage paying businesses are 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations; yet, 10.7 percent of all employees are employed at 501(c)(3) nonprofits, according to the 2011 Employer, Employee and Wage data from the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. Daring to Lead 2011, a national study of nonprofit executive leadership, identified professional development as a key factor for an organization’s success. Workforce development assists nonprofits in retaining employees, increasing their skills and strengthening the effectiveness of the organization’s work in the community.

Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC) is the largest of three community colleges in Montana.  The college has two campusesits main campus in Kalispell and distance learning campus in Libby.  Combined, they serve a a rural region that spans over  5.6 million acres, an area larger than the state of Massachusetts. Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, FVCC offers more than 100 academic programs that prepare students for transfer to four-year higher education institutions and for careers in the workforce.

The Applied Materials Foundation  was established by Applied Materials, Inc. to make a positive social contribution in regions where Applied Materials employees work and live through philanthropic investments in the areas of education, civic development, arts and culture, and the environment.