Capacity Building Grants

Up to $40,000

Capacity Building grants help an organization increase its sustainability and effectiveness by strengthening management systems and governance structures. This is a two-step process. We strongly encourage you to contact us for a phone consultation before you apply. Contact Cindy Hales, Director of Community Investment, or 989-560-4786.

Step one - The grant application seeks to identify the specific problem(s) you need to solve in your organization, not a plan of action. We are looking for a clear understanding of the capacity issue(s) that create challenges within the management systems or governance structure of your organization.

Step two - Meet with Community Foundation staff to co-design a detailed plan of action to address your capacity issue.


December 7, 2020: The grant application will be available on our website.

February 1, 2021: Grant application deadline

February: Applications are vetted by the Capacity Building Committee

March and April: The Community Foundation capacity-building team collaborates with applicants to co-create a plan of action.


  • For capacity building efforts that increase a nonprofit’s sustainability and effectiveness by strengthening management systems and governance.
  • Eligible organizations must have at least one paid staff and an annual operating budget of at least $100,000.
  • Applicants must agree to work in partnership with Community Foundation staff to create a plan of action.

Examples of Capacity Building issues include:

  • Board development
  • Fundraising planning
  • Governance structures
  • Executive Leadership development
  • Long-range planning
  • Staff training and development
  • Succession planning

The Community Foundation works with a network of consultants to provide capacity building support. The following have been previously vetted; however, new consultants are periodically added to the list.

  • Non-Profit Network
  • Michigan Nonprofit Association Tech Services
  • John Cauley - Cauley Coaching and Consulting
  • Erin Skene-Pratt - Momentum Associates
  • Cathy Adcock - Adcock CFO Solutions
  • Carol Pence - Pence Consulting
  • Rebecca Bahar-Cook - Capitol Fundraising Associates

CAPACITY BUILDING GRANT FORMS (will be updated soon)

  • Capacity Building online grant application
  • SAMPLE Capacity Building Grant Application (for review only, do not submit)
  • Request for Payment form (Fillable PDF)
  • Evaluation Form 2019 (Fillable PDF)
  • Evaluation Form 2020 (Fillable PDF)

Instructions for using a Fillable PDF:

1. Open the template and SAVE IT before you begin filling in the form.

2. Complete the form, SAVE IT again with your answers.

3. Submit by email HERE.