Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative

California Community Foundation

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Grant amount: US $20,000 - US $40,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Training / Capacity Building

Location of project: Los Angeles County, California

Location of residency: Preferred: Los Angeles County, California Other eligible locations: United States

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About this funder:

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Overview:

NOTE: Applications will not be reviewed until all Board resolutions have been included with the application form. You are welcome to submit the application at any time.

Overview

The California Community Foundation helps its nonprofit grantees achieve their missions despite constant changes in funding and policy environments by ensuring that they have the right tools in place to be able to adapt to external changes.

Through the Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative (NSI), CCF and its funding partners seek to foster long-term partnerships for nonprofits that are interested in exploring strategic restructuring.

Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative

Partnerships bring new vitality to an organization. They create opportunities that help build the capacity to sustain your mission and scale your vision. Leaders understand where the gaps are in their organizations, and the NSI can help you find your solution. A vital question for every nonprofit leader is: How do we sustain our impact? This is the difference between the status quo and innovation. This is the power of partnership.

The Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative (NSI) fosters long-term partnerships for nonprofits interested in exploring strategic restructuring to create sustainable impact. The NSI is a funding collaborative of more than a dozen foundations that helps nonprofits achieve their mission by providing stability in a funding environment constantly influenced by changing policy and priorities.

The strategic restructuring grants that the NSI distributes ensures that nonprofit leaders have the right tools in place to adapt to external changes and create sustainable impact. In its first four years of funding, the NSI has granted $2.5 million to assist 151 different nonprofits to enter into 57 strategic restructuring negotiations. The number of nonprofits funded and the communities they impact continue to grow.

The NSI helps nonprofits based in Los Angeles County explore and implement formal partnerships leading to greater organizational effectiveness and efficiency. Known as strategic restructuring (SR), these partnerships typically culminate in agreements to combine some (or all) aspects of the organization, ranging from jointly managed programs and back-office consolidations, to shared ventures or full-scale mergers. The goal of the NSI is to normalize strategic restructuring by establishing an environment where service providers, funders and consultants understand and regularly engage in the activity as a strategy for enhancing impact and sustainability.

Guidelines

The Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative (NSI) is a resource for any nonprofit serving Los Angeles County. To learn from the experience of nonprofits that have gone through the NSI please read some of their stories here.

The NSI application is designed for organizations ready to move into structured discussions aimed at developing a strategic partnership. Organizations and leadership that receive NSI funds are not committing to a specific outcome, but rather to enter into good faith negotiations. The goal is to ensure that organizations have every opportunity to thoroughly explore all issues associated with a strategic partnership and to reach an informed decision that best serves their mission and how they service the community.

For grant administrative purposes, potential partners will submit a joint application. One organization will be identified as the applicant and the other organization(s) as the partner(s). The applicant organization receives a grant for the partners to hire a consultant of their choice, who supports the exploration and negotiation of issues associated with the form of partnership being pursued.

The applicant organization must include a copy of a proposed consulting contract from consultant(s) identified by the participating organizations. Your selected consultant must have previous experience in facilitating strategic restructuring negotiations. The contract should include:

  • Proposed scope of work.
  • Project work plan/timeline.
  • Project budget/payment schedule.

In addition to the completed application and copy of the proposed consulting contract, each of the applicant partners must submit a board resolution signed by the board secretary or chair indicating that the board has agreed to enter into good faith negotiations of a strategic partnership. A sample resolution is provided with this application. Grants typically range between $20,000 – $40,000.

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

Eligibility:

  • The NSI provides funding to nonprofits serving Los Angeles County residents who are interested in exploring strategic restructuring. 
  • Eligible organizations are:
    • Nonprofit agencies with evidence of tax-exempt status under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and not classified as a private foundation
    • Located within and primarily serving residents of Los Angeles County, except for regional, statewide or national public policy efforts that may benefit a substantial portion of the local population
    • Operated and organized so that they do not discriminate in the hiring of staff or in providing services on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability
  • Proposals will be reviewed based on the following criteria:
    • Demonstrated commitment to entering into strategic restructuring negotiations;
    • Impact of a strategic restructuring on the clients and communities served by the partner organizations; and,
    • Well-designed consulting contract with clearly articulated costs, goals, timeline and benchmarks.

Preferences:

  • CCF prioritizes organizations with an office in Los Angeles County.
    • While we have funded advocacy organizations that served L.A. County, but are primarily headquartered in Sacramento and D.C., we have found that local community issues have a better chance of being addressed long term by those who are deeply embedded in the local community.

Ineligibility:

  • Grants cannot be used for:
    • an annual fundraising campaign
    • the direct assistance of an individual
    • the sponsorship of a one-time, special event
    • an endowment
    • existing obligations, or to replenish other resources used to pay for such expenses
    • equipment other than what could be considered integral to accomplishing a stated organizational objective
    • sectarian purposes, i.e., programs that promote or require a religious doctrine
  • Grants cannot be used to:
    • fund or support political organizations or campaigns
    • fund feature films, documentaries and/or video projects