Nonprofit Capacity-Building Initiative

Pilot Phase Grant Guidelines

This program will provide grants for capacity-building initiatives identified and submitted by nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations serving communities in Northeast Wisconsin, specifically, Brown, Door, Kewaunee and Oconto counties. Although grants are available to all eligible organizations, in order to support the unique needs of aging populations in Northeast Wisconsin, this fund has an additional focus on organizations serving populations aged 60 years or older. This includes organizations that target older residents through one or more programs, or exclusively serve this demographic.

Eligibility Requirements

All applicants must meet the following:

  • Be a nonprofit organization with a 501(c)(3) designation by the IRS
  • Directly serve Brown, Door, Kewaunee or Oconto counties
  • Conduct business without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual preference, age, marital status, disability, or national origin
  • Have an operating budget of under $3,000,000
  • Be in existence as a nonprofit, tax exempt organization, for at least two years from date of incorporation
  • Be willing to adhere to the grantmaking policies of Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and this fund as contained in the grant agreement

Types of Grants

Grants will be awarded to assist eligible organizations with dedicated capacity-building efforts. A typical application will involve the cost of hiring third-party expertise.

Examples of such efforts could include, but are not limited to:

  • Board training that enhances organizational capacity in the areas of recruitment, orientation, or retention
  • Board governance (examples include officers, committees, effective meeting facilitation, accountability)
  • Development and activation of ad hoc or board committees
  • Leadership development
  • Organization/Board Planning (annual/strategic)
  • Collaboration/Partnerships
  • Financial management oversight (budgets and financial reporting)
  • Development of volunteer recruitment, management, retention best practices
  • Development of best practices in nonprofit management
  • Development of succession plans (leadership and non-leadership levels)
  • Technology (use/implementation, needs assessment, planning)
  • Communications/Marketing planning
  • Service (design, evaluation, record keeping)
  • Project management training
  • Staff development and training (team building, performance management, staffing structure)
  • Hiring of consultant to increase capacities (staff, board, organizational)
  • Creation of peer-to-peer learning opportunities
  • Establishment and implementation of lean process improvements

Grantmaking Criteria

Projects will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Clarity in the description of the capacity challenge
  • Clarity in the work plan design to address the capacity challenge, including feasibility
  • Brief description of the anticipated results
  • Clarity in the evaluation methodology with defined and measurable outcomes
  • An articulated plan to reinforce the gains in capacity
  • Budget clarity and relevance
  • Contract and work plan from the service provider, which clearly addresses the capacity challenge

What We Do Not Fund

  • Annual appeals, capital campaigns, feasibility studies or other fundraising activities or events
  • Religious activities or programs that serve, or appear to serve, specific religious organizations, groups, denominations or beliefs
  • Individuals
  • Endowments
  • Debt retirement, debt financing, reduction of operating deficit or replenishment of resources used to pay for such purposes
  • Lobbying or legislative activities
  • Capital improvements
  • Expenses occurring before the grant is awarded
  • Efforts serving those outside of rural Northeast Wisconsin
  • Contractors who actually perform the work, as differentiated from consultants who train and teach to build capabilities
  • Direct service program support
  • Projects that add to staff member or provide board volunteer compensation
  • Organizational expenses unrelated to the capacity-building project

Grant Award

  • Grants awards will typically range from $1,000 to $7,500 for one year. Grant awards are non-renewable
  • Multi-phase requests may be considered, with approval limited to one or more phases
  • Decisions will be announced within 60 days of the application deadline
  • We will consider up to 10% of total project costs being dedicated to direct project expenses of the capacity building project
  • Cash match encouraged, but not required

Note: The Fund may request grantees share lessons learned from their project in future communications about the Fund.

Apply for a Grant

Submit the online application, a complete budget and a third-party service provider work plan.

An acceptable third-party service provider work plan will include at minimum a written document from the service provider listing the services to be performed, the expected outcomes, and a fee schedule for the services provided.

All applicants are encouraged to contact Rashad Cobb, Community Engagement Program Officer, prior to completing an application.


Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. on April 15 (Round 1) and October 15 (Round 2).

* This round of requested applications represents a pilot effort and may not reflect the long-term grantmaking strategies of this fund


Greater Green Bay Community Foundation

320 N. Broadway Street, Suite 260, Green Bay, WI 54303
P: (920) 432-0800   F: (920) 432-5577   Email Us

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