A capacity building and grants program for Salem County nonprofit organizations — part of our Healthy Kids/Bright Futures Initiative
In 2015, as part of its ongoing health initiative “Healthy Kids Bright Futures” the Salem Health & Wellness Foundation launched Rebound to Resiliency, a comprehensive capacity building program focused on enhancing the capabilities and leadership of our nonprofit providers and their volunteers.
Everyday, nonprofits in the Salem County community are on the front lines providing critical services to its residents who are in need of housing, jobs, food, education, and healthcare. They work tirelessly with limited resources. There are few sources of funding and support in Salem County. The Foundation has become the primary financial support system (except for government) to the essential nonprofits that carry out the work.
Money alone is not sufficient. Those who are delivering the services need to enhance their capacity to do their work smarter, better and with greater efficiencies. Nonprofits work in a broad ecosystem of actors that influence or impact the policies that generate the need for certain social services. Effectiveness therefore, cannot just be ascribed to the nonprofit itself, but they must be able to manage their position in a much broader ecosystem with government, business, other nonprofits, funders and networks.
Any one or combination of external changes in the landscape can and will influence how nonprofits function. In this environment, change is rapid and constant; nonprofits must be able to anticipate and get ahead of change to manage it most effectively. Adapting to change requires a fluidity of decision making that requires a strong inner core of capacities that can advance and retreat as needed.
Collaboration skills are no longer a choice but a requirement, especially if one believes that the vexing problems in our society are not to be solved by individual organizations alone. Many organizations are not experienced to manage or lead coalitions. Learning to collaborate requires knowledge of practice and repeated experimentation. Trial and error is both outwardly and inwardly focused.
Capacity building programs are not one-size-fits all. Each organization is unique, has its own depth of capacities on staff and at the board level. And each occupies a lifecycle stage that requires different intensities of 4 key capacities—leadership, learning,
management and skills. For this reason, capacity building programs have to be aligned with the unique characteristics of each organization and their lifecycle stage. Capacity
must be built starting from where an organization is now, understanding where it has come from, and strategizing about where it is going.
The Program Design
Most capacity building programs are meant for leaders and occasionally individuals with specific skill sets like marketing or development. Rebound to Resiliency is meant for all staff from middle management to top leadership and key board members. Building bench strength is essential to the ongoing sustainability of an organization. If only top leaders are trained, when they leave they take this knowledge with them. This program ensures that there are opportunities for lasting change.
The program is both tailored to the position of the organization in its lifecycle stage and wide-ranging in its offerings so all nonprofits will be able to attend.
The Foundation is offering support to participate in a self-assessment exercise to pinpoint the key priority areas to address in an organization’s lifecycle stage. Organizations will know what sessions to attend and when to request additional help from the Foundation in the form of a grant.
Advanced skill building sessions will be held over the course of the coming year and led by known leaders in their fields and offered to all staff and board members in key areas:
- Financial Literacy
- Strategic and Business Planning
- Board Management
Those organizations that attend all of the sessions will be given a Certificate designating completion.
Organizations will be given opportunities to apply for grants in specific areas where more intensive need is required. These grant requests will be tied to the self-assessment exercise to help determine the areas of priority the nonprofit wishes to address.
To learn more about the Rebound to Resiliency program, call 856-299-4460.
Before submitting the LOI, you must meet with Nancy Burd and Foundation Staff to discuss your proposal.
The Foundation has issued a Request for Proposals for capacity building grants related to our Rebound to Resiliency program.