Nonprofit Capacity Building Grant

  • maximum awarded per application: up to $15,000

  • available: $215,000 available in 2019

  • contact: Lisa Stachula

  • opens: February 1, 2019

  • spring cycle:

    • LOI due: March 15, 2019

    • invitation to apply: April 1, 2019

    • deadline: May 15, 2019

    • notification: June 15, 2019

  • fall cycle:

    • LOI due: September 1, 2019

    • invitation to apply: September 15, 2019

    • deadline: November 1, 2019

    • notification: November 30, 2019


Nonprofit Capacity Building Grants strengthen nonprofits by increasing their core capacities to carry out their missions. The grant program focuses on capacity-building projects that improve an identified area of organizational capacity, including (but not limited to) leadership, governance, mission & strategy, evaluation, financial management, program delivery, fund development, communications, collaboration, or equity.

What is Capacity Building?
The Community Foundation uses the term “capacity building” as defined by the organization GEO – Grantmakers for Effective Organizations:

"Capacity “is an abstract term that describes a wide range of capabilities, knowledge, and resources that nonprofits need in order to be effective.” GEO defines  capacity building as the funding and technical assistance necessary to help nonprofits increase specific capabilities to deliver stronger programs, take risks, build connections, innovate and iterate. Capacity needs will vary depending on a range of factors such as the organization’s size, lifecycle stage, program model, revenue base, or the capacities of complementary organizations working in the same community or field." 


All Letters of Interest and grant applications are submitted through our online grant system for both spring and fall cycles.

To preview the Nonprofit Capacity Building Letter of Interest, please click here.

Organizations go through a two-step process in order to apply for a Nonprofit Capacity Building Grant.

  • First, they complete a Letter of Interest form with basic information about their organization and proposed project. The LOIs are reviewed and scored by Community Foundation staff and the chair of the Nonprofit Capacity Building Grants committee. The LOIs are assessed first for eligibility and, depending on the number of LOIs submitted, for strength and fit with the program, so that the strongest 15-20 LOIs are invited to submit a full application.

  • Second, invited organizations submit full applications, which are reviewed and scored by the full committee.


Eligible nonprofit organizations:

  • Must be located in or serve residents of Rock Island and/or Scott Counties.

  • May only receive a Nonprofit Capacity Building Grant once every three calendar years.

  • Organizations may not request funds for the same capacity building project if applying for both a Q2030 grant and a nonprofit capacity building grant

  • Applications must be for one of the following eligible capacity-building activities:

    • Strategic planning

    • Board training and education

    • Staff training

    • Succession planning

    • Critical equipment

    • Technology/software

    • Other assessment, consulting, or facilitation that improves an identified area of organizational capacity.

  • Please follow the link to our webpage What We Look For to read information on "general grant program eligibility requirements" and "areas not funded by grant programs."

This grant program does not support capital projects (including vehicles), furniture, organizational staff salaries, consumable supplies or ongoing operational or programming costs. The first year only of technology costs that will become “ongoing”, such as software licensing costs, may be considered. Reasonable travel costs may be considered as a part of one of these activities. The grantee may request that the amount awarded be paid in a single year, or be structured as a multi-year grant over two or three years.

Evaluation Criteria

The criteria help the committee evaluate the value of the organization to the community and the value of the capacity building project to the organization. 

Our granting strategy is to fully fund awardees to allow completion of the project.

  • Capacity Building: The organization clearly identifies the area of capacity that the project will improve.

  • Readiness: The organization demonstrates that this is a good time to undertake the project.

  • Project plan: The project plan is clear and achievable.

  • Clear Measures: The project goals and outcomes are clear and measurable.

  • Inclusion: The project supports the organization to meaningfully include and engage diverse populations.

  • Leverage: The organization, and if applicable, the project engages and utilizes other resources such as funding sources, volunteers, and community partnerships.

  • Mission: The organization’s mission is valuable to the Quad Cities community.

  • Overall Impact Potential: The project supports the organization to do important work in the community.




We’re here to help you to be as successful as you can with your grant application. To discuss if your project is the right fit, contact:

Lisa Stachula / email
Call (563) 326-2840

Final Reports

Please complete a final report when you have finished your project, or by the following year's application due date, whichever is sooner. Organizations who elect to receive their grants over two or three years will be asked to provide interim reports each year. Reports are completed in the same online system you submitted your application. 

Click here to log in and complete an interim or final report for a Nonprofit Capacity Building grant.