An Assessment of Capacity Building in Washington State

This study looks at capacity building from a strategic, statewide perspective and provides a framework for thinking systematically about capacity-building investments at a state or community level; an assessment of the capacity building landscape; and opportunities for investment.

Categories: General Grants 

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Building Civic Capacity and Communities

A collection of peer-to-peer resources focusing on work being done to strengthen communities. Includes community foundation models, and civic and community capacity resources.

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Collaborative Funding for Greater Impact: A Case Study of the Cincinnati Experience

What does it take to bring a diverse group of local and regional grantmakers together to apply for a Social Innovation Fund grant and, on receiving the grant, to design and implement a consensus plan for moving forward on issues of shared concern? Last year, a group of 15 grantmakers launched the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Social Innovation Fund to deliver coordinated funding and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations working to improve outcomes — from cradle to career — for young people in the region. But how does this partnership really work? This guide explains Greater Cincinnati’s story and offers takeaways that Read more

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Expanding Organizational Advocacy Capacity: Reflections From the Field

Organizational advocacy capacity is an increasingly important area of inquiry, raising questions about the opportunities (and limits) for achieving and sustaining policy change. The California Endowment implemented the Clinic Consortia Policy and Advocacy Program to expand grantee advocacy capacity to support the policy and operational needs of California’s community clinics. Funders of advocacy and policy change initiatives are encouraged to consider the resources needed to build and sustain advocacy capacity, including grantee technical expertise, partnerships with stakeholders, and time required to expand advocacy capacity.

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How Does Capitalization Support Healthy and Sustainable Nonprofit Organizations?

Below are several resources that introduce capitalization concepts and their relationship to organizational health and sustainability. Capitalization in Nonprofit Organizations: A Shared Challenge Commissioned by the McGregor Fund, this presentation provides an overview of nonprofit capitalization concepts and what nonprofit capitalization looks like in Detroit and introduces key concepts in creating a capitalization strategy. Capitalization Terms and Definitions An overview of types of capital.

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Investing in Nonprofit Leaders

Strong leaders play an essential role in the success of nonprofit organizations, and as funders, your accomplishments hinge on theirs. By taking steps to support nonprofit leaders, you can bolster the organizations you trust, support the issues you care most about, and further your mission in a meaningful way. Includes: Why focus on leadership? Obstacles to strong, successful leaders Seeing your grantees clearly: tools and tips Grantmaking to support leadership

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Leveraging Social Sector Leadership

Strong leadership is critical for effective social sector organizations, yet the sector chronically underinvests in its leaders. What do social sector leaders need to help them succeed and, just as importantly, stay in the sector? What can grantmakers do to support these leaders? This publication synthesizes findings from new research conducted by the authors and offers recommendations for grantmakers.

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PowerCheck: Community Organizing Capacity Tool

Supporting community organizing is key to developing movements where change is needed at local, national, and all levels. PowerCheck can help you understand the skills and readiness of your grantee, identify gaps and opportunities in your funding portfolio, focus resources where most needed, and assess grantee programs in their organizations.

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Proving Foundation Impact on Public Policy Empirically: The Case of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Consumer Choice for Adults With Developmental Disabilities

Foundations that work on national public policy issues face challenges in demonstrating impact. This case study of how the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s initiative to support choice of program provider for developmentally disabled adults uses some advanced statistical techniques to demonstrate the impact of the foundation’s funding. This study suggests that to get the greatest impact on policy change, foundations should consider offering modest competitive grants to governmental departments; spending the funds in regional groupings; and focus on jurisdictions that have demonstrated interest in the policy area by spending their own funds.

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Supporting Grantee Capacity: Strengthening Effectiveness Together

In this publication, we look at how funders approach building capacity with grantees. Through examples from foundations ranging in size, mission, and geography, we explore various strategies for capacity building and the types of awareness that funders can choose to incorporate in decision making to facilitate informed, thoughtful judgments about strengthening organizations.

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Turning the Ship: Moving From Clinical Treatment to Environmental Prevention: A Health Disparities Policy Advocacy Initiative

The California Endowment’s Community Action to Fight Asthma Initiative (CAFA) took a non-traditional approach to reducing asthma disparities that funded treatment programs. CAFA fostered community activity to effect change in the areas of education, housing and environmental policy. The CAFA’s theory of change and grant making strategy included assistance in 1) Local, regional, and state-level coalition building 2) Prevention concepts, environmental asthma policies, policy advocacy 3) Evaluation, using continuous feedback to fine-tune strategy.

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