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Transformative capacity-building models: Strengthening grantee communications skills beyond funding


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As nonprofits of all sizes struggle to keep up with social media, video and other communications strategies, foundations are looking for ways to transform the nonprofits they support and build the skills of staff to bolster the fields they serve. Through management assistance programs, peer-learning cohorts, train-the-trainers and grant-supported training there are a variety of options out there.

In this session presented at the 2013 Communications Network Conference, I joined Michael Hoffman (See3), Beth Kanter (author and master trainer), and Eva Penar (The Chicago Community Trust) for a lively discussion of pros and cons of different models and examples. Together we examined how you can structure (or restructure) your capacity-building programs, evaluate if grantees are ready and measure progress along the way. We’ll also shared some of the moments of failure — and what we learned as a result.

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Transformative capacity-building models: Strengthening grantee communications skills beyond funding

  1. 1. + Transformative Capacity Building Models: Strengthening Grantee Communications Skills Beyond Funding Communications Network October 4, 2013 |#comnetwork13 @kanter @farra@chicagopolkadot @micheal_hoffman
  2. 2. + Agenda   Introduction and Icebreaker   Transformative Capacity Building: What’s the Value?   Models and Approaches: Discussion   Things We Have Learned   Reflection #comnetwork13
  3. 3. + Audience Poll   Does your foundation provide capacity building beyond funding?   What type of capacity building programs? #comnetwork13 Photo: US Department of Agriculture, Flickr
  4. 4. + Transformative Capacity Building In-depth learning that helps grantees strengthen skills in a way that lasts and changes the organization. #comnetwork13 Flickr photo by Tobyrotter
  5. 5. + SpectraGram #comnetwork13 Supporting capacity building is a waste of our foundation’s resources Agree Strongly ………………..Neutral…………………Disagree Strongly Photo by NEP, Flickr
  6. 6. + Models and Approaches #comnetwork13 1: Master Class 2: Workshop, Follow Up 3: Expert Consulting 4: Peer Learning •  A few examples and discussion
  7. 7. + Many Different Models #comnetwork13 Intensive Master Class Workshop, Monthly Meetings Blended Approaches: Content or Peer Learning Instructional Design Other
  8. 8. + Model: Hands On Workshop Intensive Master Class International Fundraising Congress   Annual Fundraising Conference in Holland, intensive pre- conference workshop   Goal: Short, intensive work to both learn and do   Structure: 6 hours over 2 days, up to 45 people per, depending on limits set by facilitator   Attendees: From large and small organizations, all wanting to raise more funds   Outcomes: Individuals with new skills, high morale and budding plans to bring those new skills home with them #comnetwork13
  9. 9. + 3 Model: In-Person Networking Workshop + Monthly Meetings Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN)   Funded by Chicago Community Trust   Goal: Equip nonprofits with marketing/tech/social media expertise   Structure: Partner NTEN to host workshop; sustain momentum with monthly meetings   Incentive: Direct access to national expert—at no cost to nonprofits   Outcomes: Support for nonprofits beyond funding priorities, creation of a community of practice, increased perception of funder as giving and accessible
  10. 10. + Model: Blended Approach Content Delivery & Experts Consultants Jewish Day School Social Media Academy   Funded by AVI CHAI Foundation – 3 cohorts, since 2011   Goal: Help Jewish Day Schools develop strategic use of social media in marketing, alumni relations and development   Structure: In-person kickoff, webinar trainings, project or ‘experiment’, fundraising campaign, peer support via conference calls and Facebook group, and personalized coaching and consulting   Incentive: Fundraising match + expense reimbursement   Outcomes: Institutional buy-in, increased engagement on at least one social channel, new donors/$ raised #comnetwork13
  11. 11. + Model: Blended Approach Peer Learning and Coaching Networked Nonprofit and Measuring Networked Nonprofit   Funded by Packard Foundation OE Program, 8 cohorts, since 2010   Goal: Improve networked strategy, social media integration, and measurement skills   Structure: Blend of content delivery with peer learning. Use of monthly conference calls, learning analytics, target coaching, learning culmination, Facebook group, and wiki journals   Outcomes: Improved practices, established integrated strategy, measurement, organizational buy-in, informal collaboration with other organizations in cohort, replicated peer learning model internally or with partners #comnetwork13
  12. 12. + Other Models…   Train the Trainer   Circuit Rider   Consultant Matching   Peer coaching   Conferences   MOOC/online courses #comnetwork13
  13. 13. + Design Principles #comnetwork13 The Things We Have Learned! Foundation Involvement Recruitment Vetting Curriculum Content Instructional Design Delivery Measurement Evaluation
  14. 14. + Reflection   Think and Write:   What resonated?   What is your big takeaway?   Grand Synthesis  Want to keep the conversation going? #comnetwork13