Nonprofit Capacity Building grants

Nonprofit Capacity Building grants

We seek to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and performance of area nonprofits. Capacity building refers to activities that strengthen the ability of a nonprofit to achieve greater performance and impact. Please note that we award competitive grants only in our service area: West Tennessee, eastern Arkansas, and northern Mississippi. 

Project examples include but are not limited to evaluation of core programs, staff or board training, improvement of technology systems, and merger or formal collaboration between organizations.

Typically, grants range from $5,500 to $40,000, with the majority of grants in the $15,000 range. If awarded, capacity building grants require the recipient organization to raise matching funds in response to the grant. 

Click here for the list of FY 2017 Nonprofit Capacity Building grantees. You can also find relevant articles and tools on nonprofit capacity building in the applicant resources section in the left-hand menu.

Please note: All applicants must have a published, reviewed profile prior to submitting a preliminary application in order to be eligible for grant funding. Contact Director of Community Information Mia Madison at (901) 722-0020 or mmadison [at] cfgm [dot] org if you haven’t created one yet. 

How to apply

STEP 1: Check if you're eligible for a capacity building grant. In addition to this criteria, eligible applicant organizations can demonstrate that they:

  • Have a completed and published profile on
  • Have operated as a 501(c)(3) agency for the last three consecutive years or longer,
  • Provide significant community impact in and have solid relationships with the communities they serve,
  • Have stable, demonstrated board and staff leadership,
  • Operate under sound financial management and are financially stable, and
  • Have a recent strategic plan that is consistent with the current vision of the organization with evidence that staff, board, and other stakeholders (if applicable) were involved in the process. The strategic plan, as opposed to a business plan, should have a multi-year focus addressing the whole organization and not simply one program or project.

STEP 2: Attend a MANDATORY pre-application information session. All 2017 sessions will be held at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, 1900 Union Avenue, on the following days: 

  • Tuesday, June 13, 1:30 p.m. 
  • Thursday, June 15, 8:30 a.m. 
  • Friday, June 23, 8:30 a.m.
  • Monday, June 26, 1:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 28, 1:30 p.m.

Please register here for a session.

STEP 3: Review and update your profile. 

STEP 4: Contact staff with any questions or concerns or to talk through your project idea. 

STEP 5: Submit the preliminary application between June 15 and July 25, 2017.  

Email(ewarren [at] cfgm [dot] org) Director of Grants & Initiatives Elizabeth Warren or call her at (901) 722-0022 with questions.