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Nonprofit Capacity Building Grants

Grants to Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas Nonprofits
in the Memphis Metro Area to Improve Operations

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Community Foundation of Greater Memphis

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

09/28/18 4:00 PM


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Grants ranging from $5,500 to $40,000 to Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee nonprofits in the Memphis metropolitan area to support organizational capacity building. Applicants must attend an information session on June 12, 14, 20, 25, or 27. Applicants must submit an LOI and create required registrations by July 25.

The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis seeks to address the organizational strength and overall health of nonprofits in the Memphis metropolitan service area by supporting their capacity building efforts. Capacity building refers to activities that strengthen the ability of a nonprofit to achieve greater performance and impact.

Project examples include but are not limited to evaluation of core programs, staff or board training, improvement of technology systems, and merger or formal collaboration between organizations.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181145

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Typically, grants range from $5,500 to $40,000, with the majority of grants in the $15,000 range.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To receive a capacity building grant, your nonprofit must have a published, reviewed profile on

The profile of eligible applicant organizations demonstrates that the organization:
-Has operated as a 501(c)(3) agency for the last three consecutive years or longer;
-Operates in the Foundation's service area: west Tennessee, northern Mississippi, and/or eastern Arkansas,
-Provides significant community impact in and has solid relationships with the communities it serves;
-Has at least one paid staff member and stable, demonstrated board and staff leadership;
-Operates under sound financial management and is financially stable;
-Has the last three years of 990’s and audits, if required;
-Has a current strategic plan that is consistent with the vision of the organization with evidence that staff, board, and other stakeholders (if applicable) were involved in the process. The strategic plan, as opposed to a business plan, should have a multi-year focus addressing the whole organization and not simply one program or project.

Ineligible applicants and projects:
-Individuals, for-profit entities, private foundations, and religious organizations;
-Operating costs, including salaries, other than those related to the capacity building project;
-Project requests from organizations with many branches or departments (YMCA, public libraries, etc.) that do not come through the office of the president/executive director;
-Expansion of existing programs or creation of new ones;
-Brick-and-mortar projects or endowments;
-Pass-through grants to other nonprofits;
-Grants to supplant lost funding or eliminate budget deficits;
-Organizations that received a Capacity Building grant from the Community Foundation of
Greater Memphis in the previous fiscal year.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Mandatory pre-application information sessions will be held throughout June at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, 1900 Union Avenue.

Nonprofits are required to attend one pre-application information session, regardless of when or if they received a Nonprofit Capacity Building grant in the past. The session lasts about one hour. More than one representative may attend, but please register each person.

Available sessions:
-Tuesday, June 12, 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
-Thursday, June 14, 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
-Wednesday, June 20, 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
-Monday, June 25, 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
-Wednesday, June 27, 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.

Register here:

Pre-Application Information:

Capacity building grants require the recipient organization to raise matching funds ($1 for every $1, or other amount set by the committee), thereby encouraging the grantee to use this grant to leverage resources from other donors and funders.

2018 Grant Timeline:
-June: Attend a MANDATORY pre-application information session.
-June 15: Letter of intent application opens online via the grants portal.
-July 11: Deadline for eligible applicants to submit a profile for review, including profile updates.
-July 25: Deadline for applicants to submit a letter of intent via the grants portal by 4:00 p.m. All eligible applicants must also have a published, reviewed  profile by this date. 
-August 31: All applicants will be notified via e-mail whether or not they have been invited by the grant committee to submit a full application. 
-September 28: Full applications due via the grants portal by 4:00 PM. 
-October - November: Grant review committee members will conduct site visits or interviews of second round applicants. 
-Mid-December: Grant review committee will make final grant recommendations to the Board for approval. All second round applicants will be notified of their award status. 

Create a profile:

How to Apply:


Applicant Resources:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Elizabeth Warren, Director of Grants & Initiatives
(901) 722-0022

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Arkansas: Eastern Arkansas;   Mississippi: Northern Mississippi;   Tennessee: West Tennessee