Seattle-Based Capacity Building Cohort

application dates announced here!

NAC has partnered with the City of Seattle for over 10 years to provide capacity building services that focus on grassroots and midsize organizations in South Seattle, deeply rooted in and led by communities of color, including working class, indigenous, queer/trans, immigrant and refugee communities.

Our flagship program is the Capacity Building Cohort which offers technical knowledge, skills, and access to a network of inspiring peers navigating similar challenges and hopes in their work for equity and social justice in their community. Year after year, we have been honored to support organizations in achieving their aspirations, not only through the consistent support of trusted coaches who recognize and respect community wisdom, but through the transformative power of the collective and what we can accomplish together.

The Capacity Building Cohort launches at the beginning of each calendar year. Our team of coaches partner with community leaders to build capacity in grassroots and emerging organizations, and together we expand knowledge, skills and performance in the following key sustainability areas:

  • Governance
  • Vision, mission and values
  • Program delivery and impact
  • Strategic relationships
  • Resource development
  • Internal management infrastructure

Our Purpose: Our intended outcome is to increase the impact of ten (10) grassroots, community nonprofits in the Southeast and Southwest Seattle areas, based on indicators and goals developed between the organization and their coach. The Capacity Building Program focuses on each individual organization’s situation—from the group’s own mission, values and organizational culture, to the environment in which it has to navigate, and the culture(s) of its leaders and constituents. Throughout the program, we center your values, wisdom, and leadership culture to steer and guide this process.

For 9 months, we guide organizations through a capacity assessment, development of a work plan, monthly on-site coaching, 5 free workshops on topics selected by the cohort, and cohort meetings to discuss challenges and solutions in a community of peers. We work to build confidence and achieve certain milestones on their capacity building needs such as:

  • Expand fundraising strategies
  • Board leadership and training
  • Finance and Operation
  • Curriculum development
  • Building tools for cultural resistance and program evaluation
  • Strengthening program capacity through partnership and collaboration
  • Strategic planning
  • Business plan
  • Program Evaluation
  • Hiring and Onboarding
  • Succession Planning
  • Evaluation metrics

In 2018, for the first time, organizations that participate will also receive a stipend of $5,000 to help cover the cost of staff time devoted to capacity building.

Our program delivery model is built around our core commitment to  social justice and racial equity. This is woven throughout the  specialized training, individualized one-on-one coaching and mentoring, peer learning through the wisdom of our cohort community, tailored workshops, and the opportunity for greater visibility and connection with funders. Our services focus on building community with our cohort members which we believe is critical to fueling the movement for a more just and compassionate world for all of our communities.

We learn as much from our cohort members as we aim to give and we look forward to laughing and growing with each new year of incredible organizations.