Capacity Building Resources for Funders

From community foundations to private family foundations, funders are taking a renewed look at capacity building grants. Building capacity is needed now more than ever to counter-balance the impact of severe budget cut-backs, both in state/federal grants, and the reduction of other sources of revenue, such as gifts by private individuals and other philanthropic sources. Consequently, there is a growing recognition that investments are needed to ensure a strong foundation for future sustainability. (Examples: helping boards and staff understand their own financial model, and board training so that board members understand how to read financial statements and participate in resource development).

Read about sustainable and sound management practices.

We offer the resources below as a starting point for funders seeking to understand the important role their work can play in capacity building for the sector.

  • Research by GEO concluded that the three top funding practices that allow nonprofits to achieve better results are support for capacity building, multi-year grants, and general operating support: Is Grantmaking Getting Smarter A National Field Study of Grantmaker Practices (Source: GEO, 2011.)

What are the trends that will impact the sustainability of a nonprofit? Convergence – How Five Trends Will Reshape the Social Sector will convince you that all nonprofit leaders (and funders) need to keep their eyes on future trends. (Source: LaPiana Consulting, 2009).


What is Capacity Building?
Examples of Effective Capacity Building
Evaluating Capacity Building Efforts
Who Funds Capacity Building?