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Nonprofit Capacity Building Grant

Grants to Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas
Nonprofits in Eligible Areas to Improve Operations

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Community Foundation of Greater Memphis

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants averaging $15,000 to Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee nonprofits operating in the Foundation's service area to support organizational capacity building. Applicants must attend an information session before applying. The Foundation's service area is West Tennessee, Northern Mississippi, and Eastern Arkansas.

The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis seeks to address the organizational strength and overall health of nonprofits in the Mid-South by supporting their capacity building efforts through financial grants. Reviewed by a committee of community volunteers, these grants are awarded to established nonprofits for one-time projects that address a part of the organization’s strategic plan to improve the management, governance, and administration of the organization, not direct programmatic improvements. By strengthening the internal capacity of an organization, the Community Foundation believes the programs and services will also be strengthened.

Project examples include but are not limited to:
- Evaluation of core programs
- Staff or board training
- Assessment of technology systems or implementation of technology upgrades
- Human resources planning, succession planning, or fundraising planning
- Merger or formal collaboration between organizations

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181145

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

The average Nonprofit Capacity Building grant is around $15,000.

Term of Contract:

January 1 – December 31, 2020. Grants are awarded for a 12-month term, and all funds must be raised and spent by the end of that term.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To receive a Nonprofit Capacity Building grant, the organization must have a published, reviewed profile on This profile must be maintained for the duration of the grant period. This profile demonstrates that the organization:

- Has operated as a 501(c)(3) agency for the last three consecutive years or longer
- Operates in the Community Foundation’s service area: west Tennessee, northern Mississippi, and/or eastern Arkansas
- Is permitted by the Tennessee Secretary of State to solicit funds
- Has the last three years of 990’s and audits, if required
- Has at least one paid staff member and stable, demonstrated board leadership
- Operates under sound financial management and is financially stable
- Has a current strategic plan that is consistent with the vision of the organization with evidence that staff, board, and other stakeholders (if applicable) were involved in the process. The strategic plan, as opposed to a business plan, should have a multi-year focus addressing the whole organization and not simply one program or project.
- Provides significant community impact in, has solid relationships with, and reflects the makeup of the communities it serves

The following projects are not eligible for grant support:
- Operating costs, including salaries, other than those related to the capacity building project
- Project requests from organizations with many branches or departments (YMCA, public libraries, etc.) that do not come through the office of the president/executive director
- Expansion of existing programs or the creation of new ones
- Brick-and-mortar projects or endowment campaigns
- Pass-through grants to other nonprofits
- Nonprofit religious activities
- Grants to supplant lost funding or eliminate budget deficits
- Development of a new or updated strategic plan

Pre-proposal Conference:

All applicants are required to attend one pre-application information session, regardless of when or if they received a Nonprofit Capacity Building grant in the past. The session lasts about one hour. More than one representative may attend, but please register each person.

- Wednesday, July 10, 4:30 - 5:30 PM
- Friday, July 19, 8:30 - 9:30 AM
- Tuesday, July 23, 4:30 - 5:30 PM.
- Thursday, August 1, 8:30 - 9:30 AM

To register, visit:

Pre-Application Information:

- July: Register to attend a mandatory pre-application information session
- July 19: Application opens online in GranteeView
- August 7: Deadline to submit a new profile OR updates to an existing profile
- August 21: Deadline to submit an application online via GranteeView
- September 20: Applicants notified via e-mail whether they are invited to continue in the grant process by hosting a grant committee site visit
- October, November: Grant committee site visits
- Mid-December: Applicants notified of funding decision via e-mail

If awarded a capacity building grant, nonprofits are required to raise funds to match the Community Foundation’s grant dollar-for-dollar.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Online application portal:

Contact Elizabeth Warren, Director of Grants & Initiatives, at or (901) 722-0022 if you have questions or would like to discuss proposal ideas.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Arkansas: Eastern Arkansas;   Mississippi: Northern Mississippi;   Tennessee: West Tennessee