Capacity Building Grant Cycle Opens

Special Olympics Athletes 

Photo Credit:  Special Olympics Maryland Facebook Page

Foundation Now Accepting Nonprofit Organizations’ Letters of Inquiry

The Ausherman Family Foundation’s (AFF) Trustees announced their Capacity Building Grant Cycle is now open. This cycle, AFF will be awarding only three Capacity Building Grants. Eligible nonprofit organizations whose staff and board members are committed to growing the organizations capacity to reach new levels of effectiveness may apply. To be considered for funding, interested organizations should submit an online Letter of Inquiry by 5 p.m. on July 15, 2016. Only inquiries submitted online will be accepted.

Eligibility is limited to organizations that have been designated as 501(c)(3) nonprofits by the Internal Revenue Service and are located in Frederick County, Maryland. Organizations must have a healthy operating budget, as well as a strong board and executive leadership. A clearly defined mission statement and the commitment of time and resources to build capacity must be in place.

The AFF’s Capacity Building Grants will support opportunities to build infrastructure for a strong and sustainable community of nonprofit organizations. Capacity Building Grants will allow nonprofits to secure the professional and timely assistance necessary to enhance organizational capacity and address important issues of organizational development and effectiveness.

Examples of capacity building projects include:

  • Planning activities: e.g., organizational assessments, strategic planning, fund development, communications/marketing, or business planning.
  • Board development: may include activities such as leadership training, defining the role of the board, and strengthening governance.
  • Strategic relationships: providing technical assistance/consultant support to help two or more organizations work through collaboration and strategic restructuring; positioning for merger or affiliation; or business planning for social enterprise.
  • Internal operations: improvements to financial management, human resource or volunteer management; or facility planning.
  • Technology improvements: IT capacity through upgrades to hardware and software, networking, websites, and staff training to optimize the use of technology.

“Helping great Frederick nonprofits to become even better has proven to benefit our entire community, particularly those most in need,” said Leigh Adams, AFF Director. “Their passion for change is infectious and it's been an honor to support them in their efforts in making a difference." To date, the Foundation has worked with dozens of nonprofits in the community in the areas of: Children, Youth, & Families; Human Services; Health Education; Arts & Culture; and Public/Society Benefit.


Recently, the AFF awarded a Capacity Building Grant to Special Olympics Maryland of Frederick County (SOFC) that resulted in the hiring of a consultant to aid the organization in its strategic planning. “The funds are being used to facilitate a workgroup led by the consultant. The workgroup’s recommendations will help build a solid foundation for creating a strong management team and a clear plan to achieve our goals, which are to serve the needs of our athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities) now and in the future. The Ausherman Family Foundation is a key component of how SOFC continues to create a world where opportunity is not limited by disability.” –– Steve Whiting, Special Olympics Maryland – Frederick County Area Director

Capacity Grant funding is capped at $25,000.

Additional information about eligibility criteria and specific application procedures can be found on the Foundation’s website: