Capacity Grant FAQ

ORGANIZATION ELIGIBILITY

  1. What organizations are eligible?

A: Most applicants will have an existing physical presence in Franklin, Hampden or Hampshire counties at the time of the application and are currently providing services to people in the three counties.

 

Q: Will the Community Foundation consider Capacity Grant applications from organizations that do not have a physical presence in the three counties of the Pioneer Valley?

A: Capacity Grants are intended to help organizations based in and serving the three counties of the Pioneer Valley. Organizations that do not have their main office location within the three counties – Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden – may apply if they meet one of the two conditions:

  1. Condition 1: Organizations are currently serving Pioneer Valley residents, the main office location is not located in the Pioneer Valley but they have a physical presence in the Pioneer Valley. These organizations may request funding for activities in direct support of the local Pioneer Valley operations.
  2. Condition 2: Organizations are currently serving Pioneer Valley residents but do not have any physical presence in the Pioneer Valley. These organizations must provide documentation that more than 50% of the services provided by the entire organization are in support of residents of the three counties of the Pioneer Valley (adequacy of documentation is at the discretion of CFWM). These organizations may request funding for activities in support of the percentage of local Pioneer Valley operations.

Note: If the requested activities to support local operations cannot easily be separated out from organization-wide operations, applicants must contact Michael DeChiara, Senior Program Officer for Capacity.

 

Q: Will the Community Foundation consider Capacity Grant applications from groups that are fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)3 organization?

A: Fiscally sponsored groups may apply for a Capacity Grant but only for activities that will directly help them make progress towards obtaining 501(c)3 status. Organizations that do not have 501(c)3 status – click here for information. http://communityfoundation.org/nonprofits/fiscally-sponsored-organizations-fiscal-sponsors/

Q: Can an organization apply for a Capacity Grant if it is currently/recently a grant recipient of the Community Foundation?

A: Organizations are eligible to apply for one competitive grant per calendar year (2017) from either our Capacity, Capital or Mission grant programs. Additionally, regardless of when a previous grant has been awarded, all grantees will need to submit required reporting before being eligible to apply for a Capacity Grant. This reporting information consists of 1) a final report and 2) a final financial report indicating that the awarded funds have been expended. Submission of these materials is due within 60 days of the project end date and 30 days prior to the grant deadline for which the organization is applying.

 

Q: Will the Community Foundation consider Capacity Grant applications from a group rather than a single applicant?

A: At this time, Capacity Grants are only being accepted from a single organizational applicant for activities focused on that organization.

 

Q: Can an organization that received CFWM funding through a Capacity Mini-Grant in 2017 apply for a Capacity Grant?

A: Yes

 

ALLOWABLE ACTIVITIES

Q: Can a Capacity Grant application request funding for activities located within two of the Capacity areas identified in the CFWM Framework?

A: The Community Foundation prefers funding activities within one Capacity area but will consider applications that target more than one. In these cases, the applicant should be very clear in how the Capacity areas align or complement each other.

Q: What specific activities can be funded with the Capacity Grant?

A: Funded activities are not limited to but may include:

  • strategic planning and/or business planning
  • organizational assessments
  • board and staff development, mentoring/coaching
  • succession planning and transition planning
  • evaluation
  • fundraising and planning for financial sustainability
  • marketing and communications planning
  • financial management and improvement
  • human resources and training
  • volunteer management/systems
  • feasibility assessment and implementation of mergers and strategic alliance
  • preparations for 501(c)3 status
  • technology assessments and planning
  • some hardware and software acquisitions (upgrades that would be considered normal and necessary for operations are not eligible)

 

Q: Will the Community Foundation fund general operating support?

A: The Community Foundation Grants Program does not provide grants for general operating support.

 

OTHER QUESTIONS

Q: Are there priorities the Community Foundation has in regards to capacity building approaches?

A: In general the most successful capacity-building projects:

  • will address issues that affect the organization as a whole rather than a single department or program
  • are focused on a single capacity area highlighted in the CFWM Capacity Framework
  • are appropriate to the organization’s current life cycle
  • are important to the organization’s transition to support medium or long-term success in relation to its mission
  • can demonstrate an organization’s readiness and ability to embark on the project
  • have the ability to meaningful track and document change and impact resulting from the project

 

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