Capacity building is a broad term that encompasses "actions that improve nonprofit effectiveness", in terms of organizational and financial stability, program quality, and growth. This is according to Barbara Blumenthal, author of Investing in Capacity Building: A Guide to High-Impact Approaches (Foundation Center, 2003). Read an online excerpt of the book here.
Increasingly, foundations are providing grants to help nonprofit organizations carry out their missions more effectively. Capacity building can take many forms, such as:
- Professional development for staff and board members
- Opportunities for peer learning, networking or leadership development
- Creating or re-examining organizational plans
- Initiating collaboration with other nonprofits
- Developing new sources for earned income
- Utilizing pro bono support for high-impact projects
Beyond Cash Guide for Nonprofit Boards is a guide on how nonprofit boards can tap pro bono and in-kind resources, co-written by Taproot Foundation and BoardSource.
Powered by Pro Bono: The Nonprofits Step-by-Step Guide to Scoping, Securing, Managing, and Scaling Pro Bono Resources is Taproot Foundation’s how-to guide for bringing capacity building resources into your nonprofit.
Grants for Capacity Building, Management & Technical Assistance describes recent grants given by larger foundations for capacity building efforts. You can also use Foundation Directory Online, our searchable database of grantmakers, to find funders who support capacity building in your field. You can buy or subscribe to these products, or you can use them for free at our locations nationwide.
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