Nonprofit Capacity Building Frequently Asked Questions

What are some capacity building examples?

  • Board development: recruitment and training
  • Training and development of next-tier leadership
  • Executive transition, planning
  • Management coaching 
  • Needs assessment
  • Resource development: earned-income strategies
  • Organizational assessments and development
  • Strategic collaborations or mergers
  • Development of evaluation systems and training
  • Perception surveys
  • Feasibility studies
  • Facility planning and feasibility
  • Human resources: developing policy
  • Developing volunteer plan 
  • Staff development programs
  • Technology skills training
  • Technology planning and implementation
  • Business analysis and planning skills
  • Financial training: implementing new accounting systems
  • Marketing and communications training

We have started a profile, but it’s not published. Does it have to be?

Yes, your organizational must be published with the required documents uploaded before submitting your letter of intent. Click here for more detailed information regarding eligibility criteria. 

Can we use a fiscal agent?

No, all grantees must have operated as 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations for a minimum of three consecutive years.

We are a faith-based organization. Are we eligible?

Yes. While grants are not made to fund houses of worship or organizations whose primary mission is strictly religious, we will fund faith-based nonprofits. Click here for more detailed information regarding eligibility criteria. 

We are an affiliate of a national organization. Are we eligible since there are many branches across the country?

Yes, as long as there are not multiple sites or branches locally. Additionally, the project must be one specifically and exclusively for the local affiliate. Applicants should discuss with staff before applying. Click here for more detailed information regarding eligibility criteria. 

Do you fund capital purchases such as vans or computers?

Vans have not been funded in the past, as they serve only transportation needs and do not necessarily strengthen the organization. Computer hardware and software, when requested for the viability of the whole organization or core programs, will be considered.

Who is on the grant committee?

The committee is composed of board members from the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis as well as volunteers from the community. Foundation staff manages the process and serves in an advisory role, but does not vote on grant awards.

Can we apply again the year after receiving a grant?

No. Nonprofits should wait at least one grant cycle before re-applying after receiving funding. Click here for more detailed information regarding eligibility criteria. 

We have a business plan. Is that the same as a strategic plan?

No, a strategic plan is developed with participation from the board and staff, and sometimes other stakeholders. It has a multi-year focus and provides a road map for the organization to achieve its mission. Click here for more detailed information regarding eligibility criteria. 

Can you explain the matching policy?

If awarded a grant, nonprofits are generally required to match the foundation grant dollar-for-dollar (a $10,000 grant requires a $10,000 match). This requirement is intended to help the nonprofit leverage new funds for the project by reaching out to new donors and funders. Click here for more detailed information regarding the Matching Policy

I still have questions. May I contact you?

Absolutely. Our staff is happy to speak with you more about your project, either in person or by phone. Email(ewarren [at] cfgm [dot] org) Director of Grants & Initiatives Elizabeth Warren or call her at (901) 722-0022 for more information on grant opportunities.