Capacity-Building Grants

Up to $40,000.


Capacity Grant Preliminary Application period is approximately December 1 – February 1.  This may vary slightly, from year to year. A volunteer grant committee reviews the preliminary applications. Those which meet our criteria will be invited to submit a full grant application for funding consideration in April, with notification of grantees in May. Capacity grants are paid to the organization as a reimbursement.


These grants are made to support capacity-building efforts that increase a nonprofit’s sustainability and effectiveness by strengthening management systems and governance. The Community Foundation works with several pre-approved consultants and can provide referrals.

A.     Eligible organizations must have at least one paid staff and an annual operating budget of at least $100,000.

B.     Special consideration will be given to grant applicants that invest some of their own funds (or funds from an alternate source) toward capacity-building efforts.

C.     These grants are made to support capacity building efforts that increase a nonprofit’s sustainability and effectiveness by strengthening management systems and governance.

Projects that may be eligible for Capacity Building grants include: 

  • Fund development education and planning
  • Diversification of revenue streams
  • Board training and development
  • Staff training and development
  • Additional staffing to strengthen management systems (must provide a detailed plan for financial sustainability of new staffing) 
  • Organizational assessment and evaluation of overall effectiveness
  • Strategic planning (must include substantial attention to capacity building)
  • Strategic marketing plans (not marketing materials) 
  • Strategic IT system improvements (not general IT upgrades and maintenance that  should be included in the organization’s operating budget) 

The Community Foundation can provide referrals to the following pre-approved consultants for capacity building assistance and educational opportunities. 

  • Non-Profit Network
  • Michigan Nonprofit Association Tech Services 
  • John Cauley, Cauley Coaching and Consulting
  • Erin Skene-Pratt, Momentum Associates 
  • Cathy Adcock, Adcock CFO Solutions
  • Carol Pence, Pence Consulting
  • Rebecca Bahar-Cook, Capitol Fundraising Associates


Instructions for using a Fillable PDF: 

1. Open the template and SAVE IT before you begin filling in the form.

2. Complete the form, SAVE IT again with your answers.

3. Submit by email HERE or print the finished form and return to the Foundation. 

Capacity Building Grant Application EXAMPLE (for review only, do not submit.)

Capacity Building Budget Template 

Capacity Building Request for Payment Form [Fillable PDF] 

Capacity Building Evaluation Form [Fillable PDF] 

Contact Information

330 Marshall St. | Suite 300 | Lansing, MI 48912 | Directions
P: (517) 272-2870 | F: (517) 272-2871 | Email Us

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