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Knowledge and tools for people who fund, lead, and evaluate capital projects

Capital projects often bring lasting benefits to nonprofit organizations and the people they serve. In the United States alone, foundations grant more than $3 billion per year to construct or improve buildings. To help these funders and their nonprofit partners make the most of capital projects, The Atlantic Philanthropies and the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation partnered with MASS to conduct a multi-faceted research study. Beginning in 2014, MASS conducted interviews, held workshops, reviewed literature, and examined a diverse set of completed projects around the world; each project was supported by one of the above funders.

The research found that the best results occur when a project is built with purpose—grounded in a clear and strategic mission that informs design decisions, with a scope that matches what its organization can afford to build, operate, and maintain. In response to study findings, MASS created Purpose Built tools and resources to help funders and nonprofits seeking to invest in, create, or evaluate capital infrastructure balance a project’s mission, design, and feasibility.

Access the full Purpose Built Series.

E-mail us at: [email protected] if you are interested in thinking about the mission, design, and feasibility of a potential capital project.