- Capacity Building Grants
- Capacity Building Grant Program with Challenge/ Matching Fund Component
- Eligibility Criteria
- Further Guidelines
- How to Apply
- Grant Cycles
- Review Process
- Contact Information
The Ausherman Family Foundation provides the Capacity Building Grant Program to assist nonprofit organizations in achieving new levels of effectiveness. Capacity Building Grant applications are accepted twice a year. Due dates are July 31 and January 31. Only organizations located in Frederick County, Maryland are eligible to receive a Capacity Building Grant. Capacity Building Grants may be awarded with or without a challenge matching fund component. Please review the information below to determine if your request fits the Foundation's grant criteria.
The purpose of Capacity Building Grant funding is to strengthen the leadership and management of Frederick County's nonprofit organizations by helping the organizations find resources (consultants) and build systems needed to achieve goals. Grants may be awarded to:
- Improve the organizations financial management systems, internal controls, and chart of accounts.
- Develop a strong board and good leadership.
- Assist with executive transition, succession, and search process.
- Conduct strategic planning retreats and develop strategic plans.
- Assess an organization.
- Evaluate programs.
- Inventory fund raising capability, and develop a fund raising plan and system.
- Examine the communications and marketing plan and develop a plan to raise the organization's profile among donors, constituents, and the public.
- Assess technological needs
- Develop other plans that would help the organization reach its goals
Qualified consultants will be available to facilitate the organization's progress in achieving the goals set forth in the grant proposal.
Capacity Building Grants that include a challenge to raise matching funds may be awarded to address any of the issues mentioned above. This grant award requires that matching funds be raised before Foundation funds are disbursed.
Challenge grants that require the raising of matching funds are one way the Foundation leads others to give. In particular, the goal of a challenge matching grant is to encourage board members and staff to support the organization and to tease out new donors and new contributions to the organization. The Foundation's Trustees may allow a limited time in which the grantee organization can raise matching funds. The Foundation's Trustees may also limit the funding pool; that is, in-kind, pledges, and government funding cannot count as matching funds. Trustees set the matching funds parameters. Every grant award may have different parameters. Matching fund parameters are detailed in the Grants Covenant to which each grant recipient must agree.
The Ausherman Family Foundation awards grants to nonprofit organizations that fit into the following defined Areas of Interest:
Arts & Culture
Organizations or activities that promote enjoyment or understanding of the visual, performing, folk, or media arts; communication organizations (film, video, publishing, journalism, radio, television); and organizations or activities that promote the appreciation or understanding of historical events. Includes groups of or services to artists, performers, entertainers, or writers; art and performing art schools, centers, and studios; and historical societies and museums.
Children, Youth & Families
The category includes organizations or programs that provide enrichment and increased opportunity to children and youth as well as organizations or programs that strengthen families. Programs and activities included are scouting programs, mentorship programs, youth leadership programs, youth community service clubs and job training, parent engagement, education, college access, academic enrichment, and arts activities.
Institutions of higher education that provide academic education are considered. Also includes libraries and organizations providing continuing/supplemental education outside of the formal school system such as English-as-a-second-language programs and literacy and reading programs for children and adults. This category excludes schools offering K through 12th grade education.
All treatment, rehabilitative, and research programs relating to physical and mental health. Including but not limited to the following sub-categories: Hospitals and primary care facilities, mental health and crisis intervention, diseases, disorders and related medical disciplines, nutrition, and dental care.
Programs and services that provide basic welfare to help individuals, families, and communities to prevent, alleviate, or better cope with crisis, change, and stress. Human services include the following sub-categories: crime & delinquency prevention, legal services, employment/jobs, food housing/shelter, and women's issues.
Organizations or programs that contribute to the public good and benefit society including, but not limited to, the following sub-categories: beautifying public spaces, civic organizations and institutions, community/neighborhood development and improvement, and philanthropy, voluntarism, and grant making foundations.
Organizations that meet the eligibility criteria for Ausherman Family Foundation grants will:
- Have a clearly defined mission
- Exhibit readiness to expand its budget and operations
- Have a healthy operating budget
- Have committed staff members who are open to change and believe that capacity building will further the agency's mission
- Resolve to commit the time and resources to capacity building
- Have a Board of Directors who see the need for training/program enhancement
- Have tax exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code
The Ausherman Family Foundation does not fund the following:
- Athletics, leisure, recreation
- Areas considered government responsibility
- Charter schools
- Private schools (do fund schools focused on higher education)
- Frederick County Public Schools
- Public safety, disaster preparedness, and relief
- Political support
- Grant requests less than $2,500
- Animals or animal organizations
1. The Ausherman Family Foundation makes grants of up to $25,000 to strengthen the management and leadership of grantee organizations.
2. Even if an organization has received funding from the Foundation in the past, a review of the guidelines is requested. Please complete a new letter of inquiry for each new request.
3. An organization must be physically located in Frederick County, MD to be considered for a Capacity Grant.
4. Funding is limited. Not every request will be funded and not every request may be fully funded.
5. There must be evidence that the grant will contribute to long-term organizational effectiveness rather than serving a short-term band aid solution.
6. The capacity and willingness of the organization to implement recommendations resulting from management assistance is essential.
7. The proposal submitted should demonstrate an ability to limit the request to an Area of Interest of the Ausherman Family Foundation:
- Arts & Culture
- Children, Youth, & Families
- Human Services
- Public / Society Benefit
8. It is not appropriate to apply for a capacity building grant if:
- The board and staff do not agree that outside management assistance is needed.
- The need is not within the areas of executive and board leadership, planning and assessment, or financial management.
- Additional permanent staff member(s) is what is needed to resolve a management problem.
- The organization is in crisis and needs emergency operating funds.
- The organization is seeking financial support for a fundraising campaign.
- The need is to finance the cost of an audit.
- The amount of funding needed is less than $2,500.
Note: Operational expenses are not fundable under the Capacity Building Program Guidelines.
2. Grant awards range from $2,500 to $25,000.
3. Phase I Letters of Inquiry are due by January 31 and July 31.
4. Phase II timelines are determined once an organization successfully completes the Phase I cycle. Organizations successfully completing Phase I will be visited by the Foundation's staff. Further instructions on completing a formal proposal, which is Phase II of the process, will be provided after the site visit.
5. Applicants have nine (9) months to complete the scope of work outlined in the grant request.
6. Applicants are eligible for only one capacity building grant per 12-month period.
7. The grant covers the cost of hiring a consultant.
8. Funding for regular operational expenses such as audits are not included in the scope of the grant program.
2. There are two phases of the Capacity Building grant process.
3. Phase I is the submission of an online letter of inquiry with supporting documents.
4. Organizations approved through Phase I receive a site visit by the Executive Director and a Trustee.
5. Phase II is the submission of a formal grant application.
6. To begin the online process and submit a letter of inquiry (LOI), click on this link: Grant Process
2. You will receive an email response from the executive director either requesting additional information or approving your letter of inquiry (LOI).
3. If the requests fits within the funding constraints, a Foundation staff member will schedule a site visit or meeting with the Ausherman Family Foundation's Executive Director and Trustee(s) and key board and staff members of your organization to discuss the grant request.
4. The Foundation's staff member will advise you whether to not to submit a formal application. Phase II requires the selection of a consultant, development of a work plan, and preparation of a project budget. The request for an application does not guarantee funding of the request.
5. Should the Foundation approve the formal grant request, a staff member will notify your organization.
6. Nonprofit organizations that receive a grant award are asked to:
a. Sign a Grant Covenant / Agreement. :
b. Submit two reports to the Foundation within the nine month funding period: an interim and final report.
i. Interim reports update the Foundation on the organization's progress towards the outcomes outlined in the
ii. Final reports include a report by the board president or executive director that documents the grant request outcomes, and a copy of the consultant's final report.
7. Submit reports on the progress of the outcomes outlined in the grant request and agreed upon in the grants covenant to the Foundation's executive director at the following intervals: 12, 18, and 24 months from date of grant receipt.
8. Grants are made to organizations and not to consultants. Any report to the Ausherman Family Foundation should be made by the executive director or president of the board of the organization receiving the grant.
9. The grantee is responsible for signing the contract with and paying the consultant.
If you have questions after reviewing the information above or trouble accessing the online grant process, contact Joyce A. Heptner, Executive Director by calling 301.620.4443 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.