By Anne Remick
Learning to run an effective and efficient charitable organization does not happen overnight. As previously relied upon funding streams disappear, it’s imperative the nonprofit community finds innovative and sustainable ways to continue providing our much needed and relied upon services. For many of us, writing a grant for $3,000 dollars isn’t worth the effort.
Often, with less than a handful of full time staff, completing any grant application can be complicated and cumbersome. Even for those of us desperate for any support, we may shy away from seemingly small potatoes funding opportunities. Instead, we want to slay “the dragon” and put our energy and effort into securing a grant that ensures administrative and programmatic support for years to come.
So, let’s ask an easy question: Would a small potatoes grant be worth it if it provided the opportunity to build organizational capacity and pave the way for program sustainability?
The easy answer is yes.
Organizational capacity building is an investment and recognition of value. When an organization is given the resources to develop a communications plan or identify more effective accounting platforms, the ability to deliver on mission strengthens. Increasing organizational capacity means improving your community. Through capacity building, an organization’s focus may shift from securing funding to support programs to shoring up organizational infrastructure to maximize growth and strengths.
A small capacity building grant may not provide the financial resources to create a new youth initiative or hire additional staff, but it will support the development of an effective and successful organization. When building capacity, it’s not about today, but tomorrow.
Strengthening Organizations at The Alaska Community Foundation awards capacity building grants up to $10,000, with typical awards ranging from $3,000-$5,000, to 501(c)(3) nonprofits or equivalent organizations, which may include tribes, schools, churches and local government agencies and programs. For more information, visit www.alaskacf.org