Nonprofit Capacity Support Programs

SAP6Effective nonprofits are vital to the healthy development and quality of life in any community.  To improve the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations in Wapello County, ORLF is focused on providing a Capacity Building Program designed to provide education, expertise and support.

What do we mean by “capacity building”?

Capacity building is more than offering technical assistance to develop a particular skill or area of management.  It requires rethinking systems, programs and processes – strengthening infrastructure so that organizations can better achieve their missions.

The bottom line is this:  If an organization is equipped to function smoothly at the operational level, its profile in the community will increase, it will retain great staff, develop and implement better programs, engage more stakeholders and be more likely to acquire funding in the future from diverse sources.

The end result is the organization’s ability to offer more effective services to those in the community who need them most.

What are indicators of a highly effective organization?

  • A qualified, engaged and supportive board of directors
  • Strong leadership and management
  • A well trained and supported staff
  • A strategy to accomplish its mission, operate high-impact programs and learn from results
  • The ability to identify and adapt to internal and external changes
  • A funding model that can support core programs and services
  • An appropriate level of cash reserves to improve organizational sustainability

Types of Programs

Non-Profit Effectiveness Education Series    *Low Intensity

Over the next year we will be partnering with other local funders to develop a nonprofit effectiveness education speaker series to be offered throughout the year.  This series will provide to the public free of charge expert speakers and workshops on predetermined topics of interest along with additional resources and services.  Another critical element of the program is that of knowledge sharing or providing convening efforts to area nonprofits.  This program is designed to strengthen the broader nonprofit sector and to bring resources and expertise directly to the staff of area organizations who need it. Potential topics include; board governance, conflict management, fundraising and grant-writing and will be determined by solicited input from local nonprofits.

Direct Response Good Practice Grants      *Medium Intensity

The Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation provides Direct Response Good Practice Grants of up to $5,000 to help nonprofits make long-term improvements in their management, governance, or organizational capacity.  Direct Response Capacity Grants are available year-round and will be completed within a year.

Click here for information on Direct Response Good Practice Grants.

Strategic Alliance Partnership Grants     *High Intensity

Select nonprofits are invited to apply for Strategic Alliance Partnership Grants each year.  These complex, place-based grants are administered in a two-phased approach over multiple years using external consultants to help nonprofits first assess and then improve their organizational capacities.  Strategic Alliance Partnership Grants will provide between $15,000 – $25,000 per year to participating organizations for consulting services and unrestricted support.

Click here for more information about Strategic Alliance Partnership Grants.

The Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation Non-Profit Capacity Support Program is administered by Kelly Genners, ORLF VP of Programs & Initiatives.  If you would like to set an appointment to discuss the potential of a capacity partnership please email kgenners@orlf.org or call (641) 455-5260.