Ausherman Family Foundation: Capacity Building Grant

Ausherman Family Foundation

Suggest an update

Anticipated deadline: Jan 15, 2021 (Letter of inquiry)

Grant amount: US $2,500 - US $25,000

Fields of work: Youth Involvement in the Arts Parental Involvement in Education Apprenticeship & Internship Programs Youth Development & Leadership Tutoring & Mentoring Folk/ Traditional Art Museums & Cultural Institutions History News Media & Communications Media Arts Performing Arts Conceptual/ Performance Art Visual Arts Writing & Literature Volunteerism & Philanthropy Literacy Library Services Crisis Intervention Primary Health Care Community Development & Revitalization Greening & Beautification Civic Affairs English-As-A-Second-Language (ESL) Education Education - Higher Education Dental Health Nutrition & Healthy Eating Diseases & Conditions Mental Health & Psychiatric Diseases Health Facilities & Clinics Hospital Care Women & Girl Services Supportive Housing & Shelters Real Estate & Housing Food Access & Hunger Employment Services Legal Services Crime Prevention & Justice Academic Success & Enrichment Career/College Preparation Parenting Counseling & Education Youth Services Show all

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Training / Capacity Building

Location of project: Frederick County, Maryland

Location of residency: Frederick County, Maryland

View website    Save

About this funder:




The Ausherman Family Foundation provides the Capacity Building Grant Program to assist nonprofit organizations in achieving new levels of effectiveness. Capacity Building Grant applications are accepted twice a year.

Capacity Building Grants may be awarded with or without a challenge matching fund component. Please review the information below to determine if your request fits the Foundation’s grant criteria.

Capacity Building Grants

The purpose of Capacity Building Grant funding is to strengthen the leadership and management of Frederick County’s nonprofit organizations by helping the organizations find resources (consultants) and build systems needed to achieve goals. An organization must have in place strong leadership, both staff and Board members, as well as the financial ability to move forward with the consultants' recommendations. Grants may be awarded to:

  • Planning activities:
    • e.g., organizational assessments, strategic planning, fund raising assessment & development, program evaluations, communications/ marketing, or business planning. 
  • Board and leadership development:
    • may include activities such as leadership training, defining the role of the board, strengthening governance, assistance with an executive transition, succession and search process.
  • Strategic Relationships:
    • providing technical assistance / consultant support to help two or more organizations work through collaboration and strategic restructuring;
    • positioning for merger or affiliation; or business planning for social enterprise.
  • Internal operations:
    • improvements to financial management, internal controls and chart of accounts, human resource or volunteer management; or
    • facility planning.
  • Technology Improvements:
    • IT capacity through upgrades to hardware and software, networking, websites, and staff training to optimize the use of technology.

The grant award will pay for the grant recipient to hire a qualified consultant to facilitate the organization’s progress in achieving the goals set forth in the grant proposal.

Ausherman Family Foundation staff members will provide a list of consultants upon request. Grant seekers must vet at least three potential consultants before choosing one. Consultants do not have to be from the Foundation’s list. Once the organization chooses a consultant, AFF requests that they explain why the consultant was the best choice.

Capacity Building Grant Program with a Challenge/Matching Fund Component

Capacity Building Grants that include a challenge to raise matching funds may be awarded to address any of the issues mentioned above. This grant award requires that matching funds be raised before Foundation funds are disbursed.

Challenge grants that require the raising of matching funds are one way the Foundation leads others to give. In particular, the goal of a challenge matching grant is to encourage board members and staff to support the organization and to tease out new donors and new contributions to the organization.

The Foundation’s Trustees may allow limited time in which the grant recipient organization can raise matching funds. The Foundation’s Trustees may also limit the funding pool; that is, in-kind, pledges, and government funding cannot count as matching funds. 

The Trustees set the matching funds parameters. Every grant award may have different parameters. Matching fund parameters are detailed in the Grants Covenant to which each grant recipient must agree.

What We Fund

Children, Youth, & Families

Organizations or programs that provide enrichment and increased opportunity to children and youth as well as organizations or programs that strengthen families. Programs and activities included are scouting, mentorships, youth leadership, youth community service clubs and job training, parent engagement, college access, academic enrichment, and arts activities.

Health & Human Services

Human Services programs and services that provide basic welfare to help individuals, families, and communities to prevent, alleviate, or better cope with crisis, change, and stress. This includes the following sub-categories: crime and delinquency prevention, legal services, employment/jobs, food, housing/shelter, and women’s issues.

Health services include treatment and rehabilitative programs relating to physical and mental health. Programs and services include but are not limited to the following sub-categories: mental health and crisis intervention, diseases, disorders and related medical disciplines, nutrition, and dental care.

Arts & Culture

Organizations or activities that promote enjoyment or understanding of the visual, performing, folk, or media arts; communication organizations (film, video, publishing, journalism, radio, television); and organizations or activities that promote the appreciation or understanding of historical events. Included are organizations which support artists, performers, entertainers, or writers, art and performing art schools, centers, studios, and historical societies and museums.

Public/Society Benefit

Organizations or programs that contribute to the public good and benefit society including, but not limited to, the following sub-categories: Beautifying public spaces, civic organizations and institutions, community/neighborhood development and improvement, and philanthropy, volunteerism, and grantmaking foundations.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Applicants are eligible to receive one capacity building grant per 12-month period.
  • Eligibility:
    • Tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code.
    • Physically located in Frederick County, Maryland.
    • Healthy operating budget and ability/willingness to expand based on the outcome of the grant.
    • Strong board and executive leadership.
    • Clearly defined mission.
    • Commitment of time and resources to build capacity.


  • What factors may increase the likelihood of approval?
    • Request must show potential to contribute to long-term organizational effectiveness. 
    • Board membership numbers within the range specified by their bylaws.
    • Staff members who are willing to commit their time and resources, are open to change and believe the grant will further their mission.


  • What We Don't Fund
    • Animals or Animal Organizations
    • Athletics, Leisure, Recreation
    • Environment
    • Areas considered government responsibility
    • Schools, including private, charter, or Frederick County Public Schools
    • Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness, and Relief
    • Individuals, including Political Support
    • Christian Missions
    • International Projects
    • Grant requests of less than $2,500
  • It is not appropriate to apply for a Capacity Building Grant if:
    • The board and staff do not agree outside management assistance is needed.
    • The need is not within the areas of executive and board leadership, planning and assessment, or financial management.
    • Additional permanent staff member(s) are needed to resolve a management problem.
    • The organization is seeking financial support for a fundraising campaign.
    • The need is to finance the cost of an audit.
    • The amount of funding needed is less than $2,500.
    • Note: Operational expenses are not funded under the Capacity Building Program Guidelines.