Strengthening Partner Capacity Grant

Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation

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Grant amount: US $10,000 - US $30,000

Next anticipated deadline: Jan 16, 2020 8:59pm PST (Pre proposal)

Later anticipated deadlines: May 15, 2020 8:59pm PDT (Pre proposal), Sep 11, 2020 8:59pm PDT (Pre proposal)

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Training / Capacity Building

Location of project: Counties in Massachusetts: Barnstable County, Dukes County, Essex County, Nantucket County, Counties in New York: Erie County Show all

Location of residency: Counties in Massachusetts: Barnstable County, Dukes County, Essex County, Nantucket County, Counties in New York: Erie County Show all

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About this funder:



NOTE: To ensure that requests are submitted on time, applicants must create an account in the online portal at least one week prior to the preliminary grant request deadline. 

Our Mission

The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation supports community programming that results in children, adolescents, and young adults affected by substance use disorders, learning disabilities, mental illness, and intellectual disabilities achieving their full potential. The Foundation is dedicated to societal impact through healthy communities and capacity building. We work diligently to foster a sense of empowerment and an environment of collaboration.

Strengthening Partner Capacity Grants

What is Capacity Building?

The Foundation recognizes the importance of strong organizational infrastructure for delivering high-quality programming and promoting organizational sustainability. Capacity building can strengthen an organization’s systems and competencies or support the growth of external networks and relationships that strengthen a community or field. Under this portfolio, we invite applications for small capital requests, for work that builds staff skills and expertise, for leadership development, for technology infrastructure, for organizational and program planning, and for building strategic partnerships. Strong applications, whether for facilities upgrades or for a convening of local organizations, will demonstrate how grant dollars strengthen organizations or networks.

What Populations Does the Foundation Serve?

Young people age 0-26 affected by:

  • Intellectual Disabilities
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Mental Illness
  • Substance Use Disorders

The greater the overlap between the population(s) that your organization serves and the populations of interest to the Foundation, the more competitive your request is likely to be. Please be sure to review the population definitions on the following pages to ensure organizational alignment with the Foundation’s interests before developing your request

What Types of Projects Will the Foundation Consider?

The following are types of capacity building requests that the Foundation will consider through this grant program:  

  • Small capital project or equipment requiring a one-time (i.e., nonrecurring) purchase not to exceed $20,000.
  • Organizational development, including strategic planning, business plan development, board development, evaluation, and continuous improvement activities.
  • Program planning to support the development of a program or strategic partnership (not the implementation of the program).
  • Organizational professional development (e.g., evidence-based practices training and implementation).
  • Convenings, and network- or field-building events that align with the Foundation’s focus areas (the Foundation will not consider event sponsorships).
  • Mergers and affiliations. See page five (5) for additional information.
  • Technology planning and equipment purchases to support an organization’s back-office needs (technology used by staff rather than by clients). See page six (6) for more information.

Requests may include more than one capacity building project type, so long as they are logically related.

The Tower Foundation allows organizations to apply an administrative and overhead rate of 15% on grant requests over $100,000, and 20% for requests of $100,000 or less. The administrative and overhead rate for colleges, universities, and affiliated organizations is capped at 10%

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


  • Organizations located in and currently providing services to one or more of the populations the Tower Foundation serves within the following regions are eligible to apply for Tower Foundation grants:
    • Massachusetts
      • Barnstable County
      • Dukes County
      • Essex County
      • Nantucket County
    • New York
      • Erie County
      • Niagara County
  • Additionally, applicants must be:
    • not-for-profit organizations with a 501(c)(3) designation that are not private foundations, or
    • not-for-profit public benefit corporations, or
    • public or diocesan school districts, or
    • private or charter schools.


  • While organizations may have more than one active Tower Foundation grant at any given time, preference may be given to organizations that have not received a grant award recently. 


  • The Foundation does not fund programs or projects that:
    • provide private benefits for any grant recipient or affiliated person,
    • attempt to influence legislation or intervene in any political campaign,
    • contribute to capital campaigns
    • consist of scholarships, services, or treatment for specific individuals,
    • consist largely of general operating support.
  • Please note that, with the exception of planning grants, Strengthening Partner Capacity requests, unlike Programs & Services, may not include staff time.