In the nonprofit world, capacity building is extremely important. In this guest post from The Alaska Community Foundation President Candace Winker, we learn about a new grant program to support capacity building activities for Alaska nonprofits.

Guest post from Candace Winkler, president of The Alaska Community Foundation

“Capacity building” is a commonly used term in business, government and even global economics that can be poorly understood. In the nonprofit world, capacity building is extremely important, thus understanding this definition is paramount.

So, what exactly does “capacity building” mean? Nonprofit capacity building refers to activities that improve and enhance a nonprofit’s ability to achieve its mission and sustain itself over time. Simply put, a nonprofit builds its capacity when it expands in areas like leadership development, community engagement, and program development in a way that helps it get closer to achieving its mission.

Financial support for capacity building activities helps nonprofit organizations realize their developmental goals while enhancing the abilities that will allow them to achieve measurable and sustainable results.

With that in mind, the Alaska Community Foundation (ACF) has launched the Capacity Building for Charitable Organizations (CBCO) grant program to support nonprofit staff and board members in their efforts to access tools, develop practical skills, and cultivate support systems needed to effectively achieve the organization’s mission.There are many capacity building activities that a nonprofit organization can apply for through a CBCO grant. Some examples include:

  • Management training for staff
  • Create a strategic or business plan
  • Build or update your website
  • Attend a training conference
  • Identify and develop a communications strategy
  • Develop a leadership succession plan
  • Identify more efficient uses of technology
  • Engage in collaboration with community partners

With such a wide variety of ways to improve leadership, organization and effectiveness, Alaska nonprofits are encouraged to learn more about the CBCO grant program.

Eligibility is limited to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and equivalent organizations located in the state of Alaska. Equivalent organizations may include tribes, schools, churches, and local government agencies and programs. Organizations may be awarded up to $15,000 with typical grants ranging between $3,000 and $5,000. ACF is now accepting applications on a rolling deadline, and the first deadline is October 1, 2012. This grant program is made possible by support from the Rasmuson Foundation.

For more information about ACF, the CBCO grant program or to apply, visit us online.  To find out more about additional capacity building grants, visit the National Council of Nonprofits.

About: The Alaska Community Foundation is a statewide platform for philanthropy. ACF currently holds over $55 million for the benefit of Alaskans, granting approximately $5 million each year to charitable projects and nonprofit organizations across the state. Our mission is to grow philanthropy and connect people who care with causes that matter.