Strengthening nonprofit organizations and, in turn, the communities they serve, is an integral part of collaborative, cross-sector work. Often, cross-sector collaboration of two or more parties (nonprofit, foundation, government, independent consultants, and business partners) can be most acutely seen through capacity building initiatives. In fact, most staffed foundations invest in organizational infrastructure activities such as leadership development, fundraising, evaluation, communications, and technology for the nonprofits and communities they support.
Funders must take the lead in providing holistic support during these initiatives. However, a major pitfall exists with traditional capacity building models that do not always account for the complexity of culture, systems and power in their design, often failing to keep racial equity centered in their approach. Without thoroughly assessing assumptions and values, capacity building can reinforce norms of white dominant culture, patterns of systemic racism, and even perpetuate patterns of harm in the communities we intend to benefit.
This focus group will, will leverage six principles for centering race equity from GEO’s latest publication, Reimagining Capacity Building, to explore how inequities can show up, and offer steps we can take to address and mitigate those inequities. Join this focus group to deepen your knowledge of equitable approaches to capacity building, and share antidotes from your own practice at any stage in the life cycle of a capacity building program.