Mission Sustainability Initiative (MSI) Background

To Strengthen and Sustain Nonprofit Missions in our Communities

Nonprofit organizations, the building blocks of the social impact sector, play a crucially important role in Illinois and throughout the country.  They provide needed services to individuals, families, and communities, create the cultural resources that celebrate diverse voices and enhance the quality of lives, strengthen neighborhoods, and create jobs and economic vitality.   Yet they are facing tremendous challenges as the need for their work expands beyond the ability of traditional funding sources – public and private - to meet them.

The nonprofit community in Illinois encompasses organizations of varying sizes, topics, and resources, from organizations with tiny budgets run by volunteers to those with hundreds of employees.  While this range and diversity is the sector’s strength, there are times when organizations decide that they can better fulfill their missions by forming long-term, permanent strategic partnerships and collaborations to make their work more efficient and effective and to better serve their public service missions.  These strategic partnerships take many forms including sharing back office or fundraising staff; permanent joint programming; and mission-based mergers.  Each new partnership is designed to meet the needs of the participating organizations; the forms they take are limited only by the creativity of the partners.