Strategic Alliance Partnership Grants


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 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.


Nonprofit organizations eligible for Strategic Alliance Partnership Grants:

  • Are tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Have been in operation for at least three years, have a minimum budget of $75,000 and at least one full time staff member
  • Provide services in Wapello County
  • Will have obtained the full support of their board of directors to participate in capacity program
  • Are willing to fully participate in the Organizational Assessment


Strategic Alliance Partnership Grants do not fund:

  • One-time events that do not build long-term capacity
  • Phase 2 grants before Phase I (Organizational Assessment) has been satisfactorily completed
  • Organizations that discriminate against certain groups or individuals in the delivery of programs and services on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation or disability
  • Activities such as propagandizing, influencing legislation and/or elections, political campaigns or  litigation
  • Individuals or for-profit organizations
  • Debt reduction
  • Renovations or capital improvements

Phase I Grants – Assessment

It is our belief that for those organizations truly committed to strengthening capacity, a comprehensive organizational assessment is the first step to understanding the current state of the organization and what challenges are inhibiting growth and increased strength and viability.  Phase I of the Strategic Alliance Partnership Grant will fund external consultants to conduct an-depth review of the participating organization’s systems, strategies and service delivery models.  Findings from this assessment will ultimately be presented to the leadership team of the nonprofit.  In addition, a written, detailed assessment report will be provided that will outline the organization’s strengths, challenges and recommend next steps to strengthen the organization’s capacity.

hands paperwork

Phase II Grants – Implementation

For those nonprofits who have satisfactorily completed Phase I of the Strategic Alliance Partnership, application may be made to continue onto Phase II of the program.  Phase II grants will include monies to work with consultants to help tackle specific areas identified within the Phase I assessment.  Additional unrestricted support may be provided to participants to allow for a more direct focus to the capacity work.

Becoming a Strategic Alliance Partner

Because of the limited number of Strategic Alliance Partnerships available and the customization of the program the first step to identifying a possible fit is to complete a Letter of Inquiry.  Once a Letter of Inquiry has been reviewed you will receive notification for a follow-up interview to discuss your project further.

Letter of Inquiry

Please provide a cover page  with the following information:

  • Organization name
  • Federal Tax ID #
  • Organization background – its mission, primary programs, people served and date organized
  • Annual budget

On page 2, please provide a brief narrative describing why you are interested in the Strategic Alliance Partnership Program and how you believe it will help your organization.  For example, is your organization facing a specific capacity-building challenge?  Do you want support to prioritize capacity building opportunities or determine which area to tackle first?  Is this a significant time in your organization’s development?

The Letter of Inquiry should be returned to Kelly Genners, VP of Programs & Initiatives via email at or can be mailed to:  ORLF, 111 E. Main Street, Ottumwa, IA 52501.