Identifying service providers to address your capacity-building needs
// By Jacqueline Brennan
While many nonprofits work to create more equitable outcomes in communities, limited resource capacity can strain their ability to tackle the complex, systemic issues associated with this work.
The Kresge Foundation is addressing this gap in support through a capacity-building program that supports its grantees’ talent and leadership development needs through a racial equity lens. Find out why Kresge developed FUEL (Fostering Urban Equitable Leadership) and hear firsthand from two service providers from the 2018 program cohort during the Upswell workshop, “Creating a Capacity Building Ecosystem.”
The FUEL program is intended to help nonprofits advance racial equity and achieve better outcomes in their organizations and in communities. Caroline Altman Smith, deputy director of Kresge’s education program, says there is specific reasoning behind the program’s design.
“We made several very conscious design choices in how we structured this capacity building opportunity. One was investing in the cohort of service providers to have some space to themselves, to learn from each other, and share more about what their different programmatic approaches are.”
Nonprofits that provide capacity-building services to other nonprofits often don’t get to compare notes and models and learn more about how other folks in the field approach the delivery of these services, according to Caroline.
ProInspire’s Monisha Kapila and AchieveMission’s Mikaela Seligman were 2018 cohort members and will join the workshop to “talk about what the process was for them when sharing their approach, learning from others’ approaches, and some of the concrete new services that emerged when the providers had an opportunity to join forces and imagine together what new contributions to the field could be in terms of capacity-building services,” Caroline adds.
She says a lot of nonprofits understandably struggle with determining their capacity-building needs, and which vendors can best help them address their needs.
“There are plenty of capacity builders out there, but not all of them necessarily focus on racial equity. It’s also hard to determine which capacity builder is going to be the best fit for your needs. The workshop allows changemakers to hear directly from people who are doing this work, gain a better sense of what they might want to look for when hiring capacity-building vendors, and hear from some folks in the field about the leading edge of these types of services.”
Creating a Capacity Building Ecosystem is happening Thursday, November 14 from 9:30-11:30am.