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Nonprofit Capacity Building
Investing in our community’s nonprofit leaders
We believe that investing in local nonprofit organizations strengthens our entire community.
Like any strong organization, a great nonprofit has effective leadership, including a strong Board of Directors to steer the direction of the organization, and mission-driven staff to provide quality services and programs to the community.
For over a decade, the Omaha Community Foundation has run the Nonprofit Capacity Building program to address nonprofit organizations’ leadership and capacity needs in our service area. We have worked with dozens of leaders from more than 80 nonprofits to bolster their infrastructure and better fulfill their organizational missions.
The program was successful—participating organizations saw measurable increases in capacity in many areas, including board leadership, overall strategy, fund development, mission and planning, and program design. However, we discovered that much of our work was not reaching organizations with the least access to resources and support.
Serving in a leadership role can be challenging. It encompasses working in close partnership with the board of directors to develop actionable strategies while inspiring internal staff to fulfill their organization’s mission. Research shows the experience is even more difficult for people of color whose organizations are often under-resourced and underfunded. Using findings from our program evaluations and based on OCF’s racial equity journey, we have made several updates to our program:
- We are committed to engaging nonprofit leaders of color; thus, our program must reflect the racial diversity of nonprofit leaders in our community.
- Our eligibility requirements are more inclusive. We encourage emerging and grassroots organizations in existence for one year or more to apply.
- Program leadership and facilitation are more diverse both in terms of race and lived experience.
- Additionally, we co-created an innovative curriculum that seeks to unpack and uplift the unique experiences of nonprofit leaders of color.
Our program operates with the understanding that nonprofit leaders are best suited to identify and address the needs of their organization. The Foundation invests in resources to meet the unique circumstances of the participating organizations which may include, but are not limited to:
- Peer Learning Cohort Model
- Diverse Coaches and Facilitators
- Personal and Professional Development Coaching
- Infrastructure, Governance, and Operational Methodology Workshops
Program Requirements & Expectations
- Confidentiality is unequivocal.
- NCB is for the Executive Director or CEO of the nonprofit agency
- NCB is a safe space for leaders to learn, express themselves, and discuss challenging topics.
- NCB runs for 13 months, beginning with a three-month intensive bootcamp in October.
- Program meetings are from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM on one Saturday every other month.*
- Individual and group coaching sessions are during the alternating months.
- Participants commit to preparing for and attending every session.
- This program requires 2-3 hours of outside reading and homework per month.
* We intend to hold the program meetings in person; however, this is subject to change.
Other Ways Nonprofits Can Access Capacity Building Resources
The best way for a nonprofit to begin engaging with our capacity-building resources is through our grant programs. These programs have several workshops and training built into them with opportunities for technical assistance available throughout.