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Capacity Building


 

 

   

 

The purposes of this initiative are to a) increase the collective and individual grassroots capacity to accomplish regional goals at the intersection of community and environment and b) establish durable, powerful, and coordinated efforts to advance programs and policies to improve regions and communities beyond the term of the initiative.

This initiative will provide facilitation services, technical assistance, training and grants to strengthen and diversify regional collaborations working together to advance a shared regional and community driven agenda that improves the quality of life in the region and protects and restores natural resources. This request for proposals invites proposals from regions, prepared collaboratively by organizations working at the community, watershed and/or regional level to improve human health, create economic opportunity, advance clean water plans, increase access of local, sustainable food, conserve lands, protect and enhance community open space, etc, to seek assistance to develop and support cross sector collaborative strategies and also build individual organizational capacity.

Selected regions will be identified via this RFP and customized facilitation and network support will be provided to help develop a shared agenda and coordinated strategies. Once selected, planning and capacity building grants will be available to groups in each region on an annual basis to support participation in the initiative, collaborative programs and projects as well as targeted capacity building activities with in individual organizations.

Regions selected to participate will be provided facilitation services, technical assistance, training and grants to strengthen and diversify regional collaborations working together to advance shared regional and community goals over a three year period.


Who is eligible to participate?
There are two forms of eligibility, organizations eligible to participate in the regional collaboratives and those eligible to receive organizational capacity building grants.

Types of organizations eligible to participate in the regional collaboratives include:
-501(c)3 Private Nonprofit Organizations
-Faith-based Organizations
-Community Associations
-Service, Youth, and Civic Groups
-Municipal, County, Regional, State, Federal Public Agencies
-Soil/Water Conservation Districts & Resource Conservation and Development Councils and other similar organizations
-Public and Independent Higher Educational Institutions
-Capacity to provide at least one staff person or dedicated volunteer to participate in the collaborative process in the three year initiative.
-For-profit entities (though for-profit entities may not be the lead organization) 

Certain types of organizations that are part of a regional collaborative are also eligible to receive individual organizational capacity building support. Those organizations must be:
(Note: Regions do NOT need to include representatives from each of these types of groups):
-501(c)3 Private Nonprofit Organizations
-Soil/Water Conservation Districts & Resource Conservation and Development Councils and other similar organizations
-Organizations that provide services in one or more of the Chesapeake Bay region jurisdictions: VA, WV, MD, Washington DC, DE, PA and NY AND currently or have plans to implement programs in the region that is the focus of the collaborative application. Regions must include areas with in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
-Organizations that are able to articulate a clear mission as well as a commitment and justification to working across sectors to advance shared interests. This includes but is not limited to organizations working at the community, watershed and/or regional level to improve human health, create economic opportunity, advance clean water plans, increase access to local, sustainable food, conserve lands, protect and enhance community open space, etc, (see attached issue map)
-Have an active board that strives to provide leadership in governance, community outreach and policy work, and fundraising.

Is this a three year initiative?
Yes, once selected regions and groups within them are eligible for assistance for up to 3 years; however, funding is not guaranteed for 3 years so levels of assistance may vary year to year. If more funds become available additional regions will be invited to participate in the initiative in future years.

What types of assistance will be provided?
Several types of resources will be made available to regions and organizations selected to participate in this initiative.
Annual Organization Capacity Building Grants: (Up to approximately $30,000 each) Grants to support organizational development activities and personnel to participate in the regional collaboration will be awarded annually.
Annual Collaborative Grants: (up to approximately $50,000) Grants to support a collaborative action plan submitted and administered by an organization working in the region on behalf of other groups.
Customized Facilitation Services: Qualified facilitators will be contracted to provide thoughtful and careful facilitation and support for the regional cohorts to help ensure the best possible outcome.
Third party organizational assessments: Based on available funding, some or all organizations in the cohort will be offered assistance to help identify needs and specific actions focused in increasing their organizational effectiveness and capacity.
Trainings and technical assistance: Depending on the specific needs of program participants, the Initiative will offer training sessions, technical assistance and peer learning opportunities on various topics related to needs identified with in the regions.


Initiative Timeline

Step

Timeframe

Description

Regional Application and Review

Fall, 2015

Regions in NY, PA, MD, DE, VA, WV and Washington, DC are eligible to apply to participate in the Community Conservation Capacity Building Initiative (see eligibility criteria above). You are encouraged to contact funders (contact information below) to discuss your application in advance.

Selection of Regions

Winter 2016

No grants will be issued at this time. Applications will be reviewed by funding partners and evaluated based on the criteria outlined in this proposal.

Initial Convening of Groups in Region

Winter – Spring 2016

Regions selected for assistance will be asked to participate in a series of facilitated meetings and some one on one feedback sessions to begin development of a shared agenda and to identify key capacity gaps, information needs and potential collaborative opportunities that will inform a collective and organizational work plan. CBFN will contract and provide these facilitation services and pay convening costs for groups in region to begin collaborative work and assist in the development of work plans.

Submit Work Plans with Funding Requests

Spring 2016

Funding requests from selected regions and groups within them will be submitted which will support collaborative grants and organizational grants. Additional guidance for these requests will be provided. Pooled funding designated for each region will be available to support these requests. See above funding ranges and descriptions.

Grants Awarded

May 2016

After review by CBFN and partners, grants to support collaborative efforts and organizational capacity will be awarded. Collaborative grants will be submitted and awarded by one organization on behalf of others in the region. Organizational capacity building grant requests will be submitted by any group participating in the initiative and issued to them directly.

Continued Regional Convening

July 2016 – July 2019

Approximately four meeting per year (with more possible based on groups preference) to develop annual collaborative and organizational capacity work plans

Submit Work Plans with Funding Requests

March 2017, 2018

Funding requests for collaborative work and organizational capacity will be solicited annually, in the Spring, for three years, pending available funds. Requests will be reviewed by CBFN members and grants issued annually in May/June of each year. Funds available for each region may vary year to year so funding levels for collaborative and organizational grants will contingent upon available funds and progress made within the region.


Program Status
This grant program CLOSED on October, 29, 2015.

Grant Application Process
Proposals must be submitted online via the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s online grant system. A copy of the RFP and application instructions can be accessed here. Selected regions will be notified in winter 2016 and collaborative and capacity building grants will be awarded in May 2016. If you have questions regarding the application process, please contact this program’s grant manager, Kacey Wetzel at 410-974-2941 ext. 104. *Please note: The Trust's grant system works best in Internet Explorer, especially when uploading documents.*

 

    

 

Questions and Technical Support
Kacey Wetzel
kwetzel@cbtrust.org
410-974-2941 x104