Capacity Grants 2018

Programmatic Intent
Capacity grants provide support for a nonprofit’s internal improvements in capability, knowledge, or resources that in turn, strengthen its organizational (not programmatic) effectiveness to advance the organization’s mission.


Applicant Eligibility
To view overall eligibility guidelines for applicant organizations, please click here.

Capacity Grant- specific eligibility guidelines include:

  • Applicants must have 501(c)3 status. Fiscally sponsored organizations are not eligible to apply.
  • Applicants must have been in operation under their current 501(c)3 status long enough to provide at least one full year of activity in the required financial documents.
  • Applicant’s current (or most recently available) annual operating budget must be less than $2 million.
  • All outstanding final grant reports must be submitted by current grantees and approved, via email, by a CFWM program officer by August 7, 2018.
  • All applicants must schedule a pre-application phone conversation with the Capacity Grant Program Officer by August 30, prior to consideration for this funding opportunity.  No exceptions will be granted; this includes organizations with a prior grant history or prior programmatic relationship with CFWM.  NOTE: The window for scheduling a phone call has closed.

Funding Criteria

  • Grant range: Minimum grants are $1,000. The expected norm for most grants will be $10,000. A maximum grant will be $15,000.
  • Since awards will be made in December 2018 and funding cannot be retroactive; proposed activities need to begin on or after January 2019
  • Duration of grants: Up to 1 year from grant award date.
  • Funding is to support enhancing an organization’s effectiveness by undertaking an activity/activities that advance organizational capacity. (Proposals seeking to expand a program’s capacity, rather than the entire organization’s capacity, will not be considered).

Funding Preference

Ineligible Activities
Please click here to view activities that are ineligible for funding from any of CFWM’s grant programs.

Capacity Grant- specific ineligibility include:

  • The hiring of permanent staff (a commitment of employment beyond the grant end date).
  • Use of funds to underwrite salaries for staff without any corresponding increase in hours to reflect additional temporary activities. Full time staff salaries may not be supported by
    these grant funds, even if there is a shift in focus for staff person’s activities.
  • Activities that end prior to January 2019. (note: in most instances, activities seeking CFWM funding should start on or after January 2019)

Available Funding
There is a minimum of $336,450 available for the Capacity Grant Program. The CFWM will fund the Capacity Grant Program using sources of endowed funding (funds) that have legal geographic or use restrictions, which results in an anticipated distribution of :

  • 68% of funding for Hampden County, with significant proportion of funds targeted to Springfield. (estimated 16-23 grants)
  • 20% of funding for Franklin County. (estimated 5-7 grants)
  • 12% of funding for Hampshire County. (estimated 3-5 grants)
  • Geographic determinations are based on the primary office location for the organizations and / or the location of the organization’s activities. Distribution for use is based on the mission and the work of the organization.

Grant Process

  • All applicants must schedule a pre-application phone call with the Capacity Program Officer to discuss their initial proposal ideas. Pre-application phone conversation slots will be first come, first served. Availability of phone slots is based on the anticipated number of proposals that can be managed by CFWM; phone slots are not guaranteed for interested applicants. Phone appointments will close on August 30, 2018. NOTE: Since the deadline has passed; phone calls can no longer be scheduled. 
  • Applications must be complete, including all correct attachments at time of submission (no exceptions can be made. If you have a question, please contact program officer prior to the deadline).
  • Applicants must review the CFWM Capacity Framework and select appropriate the Capacity Building category/categories that best describe the proposed project. This will be asked for in the application.
  • CFWM provides recommended process for developing a Capacity Grant
  • Organizations selected for funding will be notified by mid/late December 2018

Important Dates

  • Pre-application phone call calendar opens: June 25, 2018.
  • Pre-application phone call calendar closes: August 30, 2018.
  • Grant submission deadline: September 7, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. 
  • Funding decisions will be made by mid/late December 2018.

Application and Related Materials


Contact Info

Michael DeChiara at