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Strengthening Nonprofit Performance: A Funder's Guide to Capacity Building

"There's something for every grantmaker in Strengthening Nonprofit Performance..."

-- Kathleen P.Enright, Executive Director,
Grantmakers for Effective Organizations,
Washington, DC

by Paul Connolly and Carol Lukas, Published by Fieldstone Alliance.

Authors Paul Connolly, Vice President, Conservation Company, and Carol Lukas, Director of National Services, Fieldstone Alliance, synthesize the most recent capacity-building practice and research into a collection of strategies, steps, and examples that funders can use to get started on or improve their funding to strengthen nonprofits.

Who This Book is For

  • Funders new to capacity building, looking for step-by-step guidance
  • Funders with years of capacity building experience, looking for new approaches and examples of other funders' approaches
  • A range of grantmakers, including venture philanthropists, community foundations, family foundations, corporate foundations, and government funders
  • Funders wishing to expand their work to address community needs locally, nationally, or outside the U.S.
    Consultants, trainers, management support organizations, and other capacity builders

Benefits You'll Get

  • Learn compelling reasons for investing in capacity building
  • Understand the basic types of capacity building activities
  • Find out what other foundations are doing
  • Get a range of costs for various types of support
  • Clarify your roles and responsibilities in using power and resources, developing expectations, and coordinating with others
  • Follow a 4-step process to develop, implement, and evaluate a grantmaking plan for capacity building
  • Choose among 7 widely-used strategies for building the capacity of nonprofits
  • Discover how to coordinate the roles of funder, nonprofit organization, and capacity builder
  • This hands-on guide also includes dozens of examples, worksheets, and contact information for organization assessment tools, capacity building providers, and publishers.

Table of Contents

Introduction:The Growing Interest in Building Organizational Capacity

  • The Origins of This Book
  • How to Use This Book
  • Who Can Benefit from This Book

Chapter 1: Why Invest in Capacity Building

  • Reasons to Invest in Capacity Building
  • Chapter Summary

Chapter 2: What Capacity Building Is

  • Capacity Building Activities
  • Means of Providing Assistance
  • Chapter Summary

Chapter 3: How to Build the Capacity of Nonprofits

  • Lessons Learned
  • The Four-Step Process
  • Step 1: Plan to Plan
  • Step2: Take stock
  • Step 3: Set Direction
  • Step 4: Take Action and Evaluate
  • Chapter Summary

Chapter 4: Capacity Building Strategies

  • Strategy 1: Program Grants That Promote Organizational Effectiveness
  • Strategy 2: General Operating Support Grants
  • Strategy 3: Grants Specifically to Increase Organizational Effectiveness
  • Strategy 4: Capital Financing for Nonprofits and Intermediaries
  • Strategy 5: Grant Support to Capacity Builders and Intermediaries
  • Strategy 6: Grants to Conveners, Educators, and Researchers
  • Strategy 7: Direct Management Assistance
  • Chapter Summary



  • Appendix A: International Capacity Building
  • Appendix B: Resources
  • Appendix C: Worksheets

Useful Nonprofit Publications Written by Members of Our Firm

Other Publisher's Publication for Nonprofit Organizations

To Order This Book, "Strengthening Nonprofit Performance"

  • $42.00 each. Published by Fieldstone Alliance, November 2002, 176 pages.
  • See To Order and Quickly Receive Your Publication
    NOTE: If you experience any problems processing your order, please call 800.971.2250 or 763.971.8890.

To Read About Our Firm's Nonprofit Capacity Building Services

Our firm is one of the world's leaders in providing consultation and trainings about nonprofit capacity building.
Learn more about our services.