Waco Foundation Capacity Building Mini-Grants

Waco Foundation

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Grant amount: Up to US $5,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Training / Capacity Building

Location of project: McLennan County, Texas

Location of residency: McLennan County, Texas

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About this funder:

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Overview:

Waco Foundation is committed to strengthening the organizations and groups that implement our community’s innovative ideas and major services.

The Foundation invests in capacity building because we believe organizations that have taken certain steps in planning their work have the best chance of ultimately improving our community’s quality of life, and we recognize that people enter nonprofit work at different points of readiness and preparation.

Through our Capacity Building Program we help the staff and boards of McLennan County nonprofits gain access to planning, quality trainings and other resources to help strengthen their organization’s ability to conduct mission work.

What is Capacity Building

Capacity building is a term used in the charitable sector that describes activities designed to help improve a nonprofit’s ability to meet its mission and maximize the resources given to them by the community. Capacity building services are distinguishable from direct program services, general operating support or capital expenses in that they typically seek to increase the knowledge, skill level and/or efficiency of a nonprofit board and staff. Capacity building services are typically provided by an individual outside of the organization that has the expertise and ability to focus on only one aspect of an organization’s management. Usual capacity building services include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Board and/or staff training
  • Strategic planning
  • Analysis of programs, cost centers, technology and fundraising potential
  • Program evaluation

As a result of the work of the Capacity Building Program, Waco Foundation hopes to encourage the following within the nonprofit sector:

  • Excellent board governance
  • Sound management (financial & other)
  • Cross-sector collaboration
  • Best practices/evidence informed practices
  • Leadership development

Capacity Building Mini-Grants

Our Capacity Building Program awards mini-grants up to $2,500 to nonprofits seeking guidance or expertise in areas such as organizational assessments, board governance and strategic planning. There are a wide range of activities that can be supported with a capacity building grant. Grants may support up to 90% of total costs, which are usually paid to consultants or as fees for participation in training or events.

What Kind of Activities Will You Fund?

The foundation will consider providing grants to help nonprofits with:

  • Advancing collaborative work/efforts (e.g. collective impact)
  • Audit completion*
  • Fiduciary oversight/internal controls (small & large organizations)
  • Fund development planning (board specific activities)
  • HR issues
  • IT/Software needs
  • Mergers/restructuring
  • Organizational assessments
  • Organizational or program evaluation
  • Promotions (website or PR/marketing plan development)
  • Staff/board professional development**
  • Strategic planning 

The Foundation understands that some nonprofits have established good client-consultant relationships they may want to continue, but does ask that every applicant seeking financial support for a consultant secure a minimum of two bids for the service in question. Foundation staff can help you identify potential consultants if needed.

*Organizations that are conducting their first audit or that are changing audit service providers and need help covering a gap in fees may be eligible for support. 

**The Foundation will not provide financial support for efforts that duplicate our services (e.g. activities that cover the same topics as those offered in Foundation hosted trainings).

How does the Funding Work?

Applicants will be eligible to receive up to $5,000 over a period of three consecutive years, with no more than $2,500 being awarded in any fiscal year (Waco Foundation’s fiscal year runs from April 1 – March 31). As with all Foundation awards, mini grants are intended to cover services not yet rendered. Retroactive projects will not be funded.

Repeat funding (consecutive awards within a three year period) will be determined by a number of factors including available funds, other requests under consideration, demonstrated financial need and the degree to which the effort not only supports organizational learning, development and mission completion; but also strengthens the organization’s impact on its field of service and the larger nonprofit community.

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

Eligibility:

  • 501(c)(3) organizations located in and providing service to McLennan County may be eligible to apply. 

Preferences:

  • Priority will be given to community based organizations but consideration will be given to other nonprofits (e.g. private schools) on a case by case basis. 

Ineligibility:

  • The Foundation will not provide financial support for efforts that duplicate our services (e.g. activities that cover the same topics as those offered in Foundation hosted trainings).
  • Requests to cover activities or services previously funded by the Foundation’s capacity building mini grant program will only be considered under special circumstances.