Capacity Building Award Guidelines


Capacity Building Grant Guidelines

"Great Programs Need Great Organizations Behind Them" (Anonymous)


What do we mean by Capacity Building? 

"Any service that enhances the organization's (or group of organizations') internal effectiveness at achieving its mission sustainably- in other words, services which strengthen the foundation or engine of the organization, not its specific programs."

(from The Giving Practice, 2012 "An Assessment of Capacity Building in Washington State: The Nonprofit Ecosystem Framework Executive Summary") 


We consider capacity building applications that request funds for a specific plan or project that will improve an organization's internal operations. There are many kinds of resources that organizations build up and draw upon to do the work necessary to achieve desired outcomes. Capacities of many kinds are needed to design, build, operate, and continually improve the programs or activities that ultimately produce the desired outcomes. By investing in the capacity building of nonprofit organizations, we aim to make good nonprofit operations better.

Organizations seeking support through Capacity Building Grants must be able to describe an overlap between their mission and the mission of the Satterberg Foundation, or describe an overlap between their programs and the mission of the Satterberg Foundation. Our Capacity Building Grants are designed to address internal needs of the applicant organization, not extend the reach of that organization's programs.

Elements of a Just Society - how we describe the term Just Society:

Access to housing
Access to food
Access to health care
Access to education
Access to employment
Empowerment to have one's voice heard
Advocacy and policy/systems change

Elements of a Sustainable Environment - how we describe the term Sustainable Environment

Environmental resilience
Environmental conservation
Nature preservation and protection
Pollution reduction and avoidance/Clean policies
Education about environmental stewardship
Advocacy and policy/systems change


What qualifies as a Satterberg Foundation Capacity Building Grant?

The Satterberg Foundation funds Capacity Building Grants to bolster the operations, management systems, and governance of an organization. Our goal is to help strengthen an organization's ability to serve their clients, by supporting their internal systems and operations. Below are some activities that Satterberg considers for capacity building funding. In addition, Capacity Building Grants may be used for training, consulting, collaboration, conferences, skill exchange, professional development or accessing other resources that help strengthen the organization.


What Qualifies.....

Board/staff development (related to defined objectives for improvement in overall management and governance)
Development of internal systems or structures
Evaluation of overall effectiveness
Financial management
Fund development planning
Fundraising training
Leadership Development
Organizational assessment
Outcomes and quality improvement/Evaluation
Staff training
Strategic planning
Succession planning
Mergers and other restructuring efforts
Computer hardware
Software or related items
Marketing & advertising in print or other media


What does not qualify......

Program expansion
Program delivery
Fundraising event underwriting
Emergency funding
Capital projects/expenditures


• Be a tax-exempt nonprofit under section 501 (c) 3 of the IRS code on its own, or be fiscally sponsored with a 501 (c) 3 organization
• Applicant organization must be nondiscriminatory in its policies and practices in regards to age, creed, disability, ethnic origin, gender, race and sexual orientation
• Funds are not to be used for evangelical purposes
• New projects will be considered; completed projects are not eligible for funding (the proposed activity may not have already occurred)
• Organizations which are consistent with the mission, vision and values of the Satterberg Foundation and which are located in the counties of Satterberg Foundation Board Members will be considered (please see the "about us" page on our web site
• An organization may request a Capacity Building Grant once a calendar year
• Organizations with annual operating budgets $5 million and under may apply



• Please visit and review the mission, vision and values of the Satterberg Foundation
• Review the criteria for eligibility
• Apply online through Satterberg's electronic grant system
• Documents required as part of the Capacity Building Grant application are: online application, Board-approved annual budget for current fiscal year, Board-approved financial statement, copy of IRS letter authorizing tax-exempt status or if applying with a fiscally sponsoring organization, a copy of their IRS letter and a letter from that organization describing the relationship
• Applications are reviewed at quarterly Board meetings; you will be notified subsequent to the Board meeting of your application's disposition. Generally application funding decisions occur sometime in the quarter following the application submission date (e.g. applications submitted in the first quarter, January Q1, will receive notice within the second quarter, by June Q2)
• Granted applications will be sent a grant agreement letter outlining the details of the grant, and a check
• A follow-up report is due at the completion of the activity, or for multi-year grants, on an annual basis until completion of the grant activity. The follow-up report is found when logging in to your account on Satterberg's online grant management system
• A Satterberg Foundation Board or staff member will connect with the grantee organization annually, through either a site visit, phone call, or other method


2015 Application Deadlines

Generally, the application deadlines will occur the first Monday of each quarter. The application deadline dates are as follows:

December 5, 2014
January 5, 2015
April 6, 2015
July 6, 2015
October 5, 2015

• Organizations with annual budgets under $1 million dollars can request a one-time Capacity Building Grant up to $10,000 or a multi-year Capacity Building Grant up to $30,000 over 3 years
• Organizations with annual budgets between $1-$5 million dollars can request a one-time Capacity Building Grant up to $25,000 or a multi-year Capacity Building Grant up to $75,000 over 3 years

Apply Here


Below are a few steps that you can take to help prevent issues when accessing the online application: 

Use Internet Explorer
While you can access our applications and see the questions using most browsers, only Internet Explorer will correctly open and display the entire form. Some browsers will have issues related to cookies and some will not display the navigation buttons for the application.

Close your application between sessions
If you need to use another website while working on your application, be sure to save your application and then close that window. Otherwise the application software will open a blank form in place of your in progress application.

Do not open other browser windows while completing your application
Opening another window while your application is open may also cause the application to close and a new, blank, form to open.

Access your saved application here
You will need to use the same username and password as when you created the application.


Contact Us

For questions, please email Caroline Miceli, Program Manager,  Info (AT) Satterberg (DOT) org Please include "Capacity Building" in subject line of message.