Grants and Contracts with Capacity-Building Providers and Intermediaries

While foundations typically give grantees funding to hire capacity builders, sometimes funders invest directly in these capacity-building providers. Grants and contracts to capacity builders often support technical assistance and consulting to a cohort of grantees. Or funders give general operating support or program grants so that capacity builders can assist a broader array of nonprofits, such as by offering a leadership development series for nonprofit staff.

  • For some foundations, funding capacitybuilding providers is a way of extending their capacity-building reach and leveraging their investment.
  • Foundations can work with these capacity builders to create safe space for grantees to get timely advice, interactions in which the funders don’t participate.
  • Some foundations build partnerships with consultants to manage multiple aspects of grantee capacity building for them.
  • Some foundations re-grant via intermediary organizations that provide capacitybuilding support.
  • Foundations aren’t just investing in the “usual suspects” of capacity builders. When trying to strengthen a field, sometimes they support nonprofits in a position of strength that can help boost others. For example, some more established nonprofits can provide backoffice support for emerging nonprofits.
  • Going beyond the usual suspects of consultants can also mean building pro bono capacity in support of nonprofits.