Triangle Capacity-Building Network Grant

Since 2014, funders from across the Triangle region of North Carolina have been meeting regularly to talk about the nonprofit sector and the desire to see agencies succeed and build their internal capacity. Since that time the Triangle Capacity-Building Network has commissioned research, engaged nonprofits in conversations about capacity building and built a strategic direction with a desired outcome of creating strong nonprofits in the Triangle region of North Carolina. One of the most important lessons from the data compiled by NC State University’s Institute for Nonprofits that guides the collaboratives overall direction is that nonprofits report having lower levels of adaptive capacity, those which primarily focus on challenges for which there is no single answer. The collaborative has identified the following key outcomes for this capacity building effort:

  • Nonprofits have skills, knowledge, and commitment to adapt, innovate, and improve
  • Nonprofit leaders and potential leaders with skills, knowledge, and commitment to adapt, innovate, and improve
  • Nonprofits have access to skilled, diverse, and high-quality capacity building providers and opportunities

In addition, the partners within the collaborative acknowledge the growing body of data showing that the percentage of leaders in the nonprofit sector who are People of Color has not changed in the last 15 years. The data indicate People of Color represented under 10% of the leadership and that this was despite People of Color having the education, experience and willingness to lead. Data from a North Carolina State University study commissioned by the collaborative funders indicate that 85% of the respondents are led by white individuals. Board chairs were a bit more diverse with 79% being led by white individual, while 13% were Black or African/American. In addition 62% of the CEO’s were between the ages of 40 -60. Additional local data compiled by United Way of the Greater Triangle that focused on Orange County demonstrated that organizations led by white people had a significantly higher number of organizational assets and higher revenue when compared to organizations led by People of Color. Systemic racism in the nonprofit sector has led to leadership being exclusively white.

The Triangle Capacity-Building Network will address these issues by investing up to $25,000 in the capacity building of nonprofit organizations led by and supporting communities of color. To read more about the background and research of this collaborative, click here.


  • Applications will be accepted from any incorporated nonprofit organization in the Triangle region, defined as Wake, Durham, Orange, Chatham, and Johnston counties that is led by a person of color and/or are working within communities of color. An organization whose board of directors reflects the communities of color it serves is also eligible.
  • The organization must have their own 501(c)(3) or have an organization serving as the fiscal agent while they are awaiting tax-exempt status.
  • The organization must have been incorporated with the State of NC for at least 1 year prior to applying for funding
  • Grants will be made based on a plan by the organization to improve its capacity either by completing an organizational assessment, or by implementing specific activities building the organization’s capacity
  • Applicants will be asked to describe:
    • The impact they are creating in the community
    • The strategies being used to build racially equitable organizations and communities
    • The specific capacity building needs and the proposed capacity building activities
  • Grants will not fund:
    • Ongoing program activities
    • Contributions to endowment or capital campaigns
    • Deficit or debt financing
    • Grants solely for the purpose of re-granting


All application materials can be accessed by clicking the “Apply” button below, creating a profile (or logging in to your organization’s existing profile), and selecting the “Triangle Capacity-Building Network Grant” process on the application dashboard.

Information Sessions

For specific questions, and to register for these question and answer sessions, please send an email to

  • April 23, 2019 2:30 – 4:00 PM at ReCity in Durham, NC
  • May 2, 2019 3:30 – 5:00 PM at Triangle Community Foundation, RTP


  • Applications are available April 9, 2019
  • Applications are due on May 28, 2019
    • Applications will be reviewed and scored online by a group of volunteers
    • Follow-up phone discussions/questions may be required
  • Applicants will be notified by June 20, 2019


  • Recipients must use all funds within 18 months of receipt. A six month extension can be requested.
  • At the conclusion of the grant period, recipients will be asked to submit a report outlining the accomplishments of the funding.
  • Recipients will be required to participate on the advisory board that awards the next cycle of capacity building grants as the collaborative moves toward a more participatory grantmaking process.

Invested Funders

Triangle Community Foundation | Oak Foundation | Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation | John Rex Endowment | Mary Duke Biddle Foundation

‹ Back to Grants