January 2011

by Jule' Colvin on February 8, 2011

Happy New Year!  While we know that most of us are starting the new year with major challenges ahead, GrantPathways’ staff is filled with hope that together with our non-profit clients, we can make a difference in the lives of those in need.  As we help our non-profit clients grow in capacity and funding they, in turn, can better help those they serve make it through these difficult times. That is what compels us forward into 2011!  Together, we can make a difference!

Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to others that you know in the non-profit community…they will be glad you did!

Upcoming Workshop

Spaces are filling up quickly for our next GrantPathways’ workshop!  Be sure to reserve your spot ASAP.   

Walk step by step through the grant seeking process with our expert staff.  Topics include:

  • How faith-based agencies can prepare for grant seeking
  • Types of grant proposals
  • Elements of a successful grant proposal
  • How to position your faith-based agency for grant winning
  • How to design programs that will attract grant funding.

Cost for this two hour workshop is just $50 per person.

For more information and registration, go to: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=onbqx6cab&oeidk=a07e36vvj9ff76ffac2

Non-Profit Know How
by Linda Daniels (CNC)

Is  2011 the Year to Seek “Capacity Building” Assistance for Your Nonprofit? The term “Capacity Building” is used very often these days and can be a bit confusing. What is it?  Would your nonprofit benefit from capacity building assistance? Who can help?

What is it? Capacity Building is broadly defined as helping an organization strengthen their management and governance systems. The help or assistance is usually provided in one or more of the following common organizational areas: Board and Staff Development, Strategic Planning, Marketing, Technology, Donor Development, Fund-Raising, Financial Management, and Human Resources.

Most nonprofits become very proficient at delivering the services defined by their mission and vision. Many take the time annually, usually as they prepare for a new year, to assess their prior year performance, current resources and finances. Annual budgets are prepared, specific program goals are set and new program goals and innovations are planned. These tasks typically support ongoing program development with some thought given to potential growth for the New Year. These activities are required to “run the business” and are necessary but cannot be called “capacity building.”

Capacity building is a specific period of assessment that many non-profits often don’t have the time or ability to address. Given the demands of operating a non-profit business the assessment of the foundational systems needed to grow the business are sometimes taken for granted by the Board and the Staff. Taking the time to review the strengths and weaknesses of your foundational systems will ultimately empower your nonprofit to more successfully meet the ever-growing demand for services.

Would your non-profit benefit? Ask yourself the following questions:

Are there unmet needs or growing demand for your services in your community? Yes/No

With additional programs, staff or resource would you be able to meet the additional needs? Yes/No

In the past two years, has the Board, Executive Director and Staff taken specific time (more than a few hours) to discuss and assess the Nonprofit’s foundational and systems strengths and weaknesses? Yes/No

Most nonprofits will answer “Yes” to the first two questions as growing demand and the need for resources never seems to be fully met. Most likely your board and staff are fully engaged in meeting current needs each year and have little time for additional tasks. The Board may feel even more challenged to develop new avenues of funding and assistance. Staff may feel overwhelmed and burdened and wonder how they can continue to meet the growing demands for services.

If you answered “No” to the third question it’s time to plan for a capacity building assessment. Ignoring the foundational health and needs of the organization will only hinder your ability to continue to meet the mission and vision of your organization effectively and, more importantly, will prevent the growth in service and excellence you desire.

Who can help? If your organization finds itself successfully helping in your community, but the ability to meet growing demands is getting harder and harder, you are a great candidate for capacity building assistance. GrantPathways is available to meet with you and discuss your current needs. Our Agency Capacity Assessment provides your agency with a four-hour on-site assessment of grant readiness, management, administration, and program capacities. You are then provided with a detailed report in each of these core areas which addresses the organization’s strengths and weaknesses and details ways to improve the agency’s effectiveness.

Did you know that there are many national and local foundations and grant makers who offer funding “specifically” for capacity building efforts. These funders recognize the importance of helping the local nonprofit improve their overall effectiveness. They see themselves as active partners in helping each agency continue to positively impact their community’s one life at a time.

GrantPathways will help you find these funders. Our Grant Research services will provide you with a comprehensive report of potential funders who support the services and populations that you serve and have an expressed interest in “capacity building.” This powerful report provides you with a list of prospective funders matched specifically to your agency services and includes the funder’s key information, including application guidelines and application dates.  Together, we use this report to develop an action plan designed to build capacity and funding support for your organization.

Make 2011 the year for your agency’s launch into a brighter future! Call us today for capacity building support and funding assistance.

GrantPathways Services

Our staff would love to have the opportunity to discuss the capacity building needs of your agency.  In addition to writing winning proposals, Grantpathways offers expertise in a wide range of non-profit management services.   Our staff conducts in-depth research using state of the art systems along with providing one on one leadership consultation, non-profit management assistance, strategic planning, board training and grant management assistance.  Give us a call or email us today!

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