Our Focus: Capacity Building Partnerships Program (Community Development)

Phase 1 Phase 2

Overview

This program is a direct grant support component of the Foundation’s commitment to supporting people and places in our community by building a path to housing, health and employment.

Introduction

Triangle Community Foundation recognizes the importance of community support structures that ultimately lead to success.  The Foundation addresses these regional needs through initiatives and grants supported by the Fund for the Triangle. We support Community Development organizations through the Capacity Building Partnerships Program.  The Foundation believes that capacity strengths and challenges can best be revealed through an organizational assessment. Capacity building projects “strengthen a nonprofit organization and help it better fulfill its mission. ”

Triangle Community Foundation invests in the effectiveness of organizations with:

  • Proven, evidence-based program models
  • Outcome measurement and evaluation strategies
  • Demonstrated success in Community Development: Addressing persistent poverty by expanding access to opportunity through comprehensive housing, health, and employment services
  • The Foundation values and prioritizes organizations working collaboratively in these areas.

Phase I 

In Phase I, funding is available for organizational assessments.  An organizational assessment is a diagnostic tool used to assist in the identification of capacity strengths and challenges and provides baseline data for evaluation purposes.  The Foundation believes assessment is an important step before beginning a capacity building effort.  Broad assessment allows for staff and board leadership to reflect on everyday programming and procedures of the organization, as well big picture mission and goals, allowing prioritization and avoiding misdirected energy and resources. 

A broad review of the organization or collaboration will help provide context when examining individual components of operation. If selected for funding the Foundation requires assessments to include a review of each the following: 

  • Mission, vision, and strategy
  • Governance and leadership 
  • Program delivery and impact
  • Strategic relationships 
  • Resource Development 
  • Internal Operations and Management

Multiple organizations may apply collaboratively for assessment funds that will strengthen existing partnerships or explore opportunities for new collaboration.  Collaborative assessments must review the strengths and challenges in the categories listed above.

Selecting an Assessment Tool

The Foundation strongly encourages organizations to work with a consultant who can objectively evaluate the organization’s current practices and help establish priorities and recommendations tailored to the nonprofit’s needs.  Self-led assessments will be considered only with approval by Foundation staff prior to application submission, provided the organization uses a well-established assessment tool.

A list of area consultants is available here.  To include your information, please contact the Foundation

Grants and Reporting

Triangle Community Foundation does not require grantees to share the full assessment data, but does ask that organizations provide a summary report of the assessment findings and recommended next steps.  The reporting template will be provided by the Foundation after grants are awarded.

Funds will be awarded in February 2017.  Average grant size will be $2,500. Larger grants may be considered for collaborative proposals.  Assessments must be completed for consideration for Phase II: Capacity Building Grants.

Eligibility

  • The Foundation invites 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, religious congregations, and governmental agencies based in Chatham, Durham, Orange, and Wake counties to apply.  Organizations operating under fiscal sponsorship of a tax-exempt nonprofit are eligible to apply when collaborating with a 501(c)(3) that meets all other criteria. 
  • Organizations must be addressing the priorities of the community development focus area.
  • Organizations must meet the Foundation’s non-discrimination policy.
  • Organizations must have been incorporated at least three years prior to application deadline.
  • Only one application per organization will be considered.

Application Procedure 

All proposals must be submitted using the Foundation’s online grants management system.  

Organizations will be selected based on:

  • fit within focus areas priorities
  • support from leadership, both board and staff
  • desire for self-reflection, organizational improvement, and readiness to begin assessment process

Frequently asked questions related to this program can be accessed here.

Important Dates:

Info Webinar: September 21 at 11:00 am (Click to view recording.)

Info Session: September 30 at 10:30am at Chatham County Library (registration required)

Proposal Deadline: October 31 at 11:59pm

Site Visits: January 9-27

Grantees Announced: February 15

 


Phase II 

Organizations that receive Phase I: Assessment Grants are eligible to apply for Phase II: Capacity Building Grants and participation in the Learn Cohort during Phase II.  These grants will assist in the implementation of strategies to improve organizational effectiveness as revealed during the assessment phase.  The Foundation encourages organizations to utilize consultants or field experts to assist in leading or implementing funded projects. 

Funds will be awarded each summer.  Average grant size will be $10,000-$15,000.  The terms of each grant will be dependent upon the type of capacity support sought.

Below are examples of capacity building activities that the Foundation will consider:

Mission, Vision, and Strategy

  • Strategic planning
  • Organizational planning
  • Organizational development 
  • Feasibility studies

Governance and Leadership

  • Leadership development 
  • Board development
  • Executive transition
  • Executive or management coaching 
  • Staff development programs 
  • Succession planning

Program Delivery and Impact

  • Program design and development
  • Evaluation 
  • Advocacy training

Strategic Relationships

  • Collaboration and strategic restructuring including merger
  • External relationship building and management
  • Community presence and involvement building
  • Marketing and communications development

Resource Development

  • Fund development
  • Business planning for revenue-generating activities

Internal Operations and Management 

  • Human resource management and training
  • Financial management
  • Operational planning
  • Technology and information systems planning, training, and/or implementation
  • Facility planning 
  • Legal issues 
  • Volunteer recruitment and management planning
  • Conflict resolution 
  • Risk management

The Foundation will not consider

  • Program-specific requests
  • Contributions to endowment or capital campaigns
  • Deficit or debt financing 
  • Grants solely for the purpose of re-granting
  • Grants to individuals

Learning Cohort

The Foundation believes in developing the human capital of partner organizations through the Learning Cohort.  The goals of the Learning Cohort are to enhance organizational impact by investing in emerging talent, and to build collaborations and leverage relationships among service providers.

Each organization selected to receive Phase II: Capacity Building Grants will select two early- to mid-career staff members as “Learning Cohort Fellows.”  Fellows are asked to commit to participation in five Learning Cohort half-day workshops.  This professional development opportunity is offered to staff at no-cost to their organizations. 

Cohort workshops will be held monthly from August to December.  Dates and topics will be chosen after Phase II: Capacity Building partners are selected.  Workshops will be designed to enhance the organizations’ capacity building projects and develop leadership capacity.  Past workshop topics have included communications, relationship building, and leadership.

Application Procedure

Eligibility

  • Organizations must complete an organizational assessment through Phase I of the Capacity Building Partnerships and commit to participation in the Learning Cohort during Phase II.
  • The Foundation invites 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, religious congregations, and governmental agencies based in Chatham, Durham, Orange, and Wake counties to apply.  Organizations operating under fiscal sponsorship of a tax-exempt nonprofit are eligible to apply when collaborating with a 501(c)(3) that meets all other criteria. 
  • Organizations must be addressing the priorities of the community development focus area.
  • Organizations must meet the Foundation’s non-discrimination policy.
  • Organizations must have been incorporated at least three years prior to application deadline.
  • Only one application per organization will be considered.

All proposals must be submitted using the Foundation’s online grant management system.  Information about creating a profile and using the system is available here.

 

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Questions?

Gina Andersen

Community Programs Officer
Phone 919.474.8370 ext:4025
Email gina@trianglecf.org