Standard Capacity Building Grant (CBG) Program

The Standard CBG grants are intended to help nonprofits within the MMF focus areas make long-term improvements in their management, governance, or organizational capacity through engagement with an outside consultant. Standard CBG grants are "pass-through grants"-- award is made to the organization, who then pays the consultant. 

Applications for capacity building activities could include:

  • Strategic planning (must have completed some form of prior organizational assessment, including but not limited to COAR)
  • Financial assessment, planning & management, including cash flow, budget development, financial controls
  • Evaluation assessment and planning
  • Program Development
  • Communications and marketing, including website development, public relations, brand development, use of social media
  • Resource development and fundraising
  • Human resources, including professional development, succession planning, staffing structure, assessment, and retention
  • Information systems management, including technology enhancements – not hardware
  • Board development including assessment, recruitment, training, and structuring
  • Restructuring and building relationships with other nonprofit organizations to strengthen service delivery, merge/closure, share resources, etc.
  • Leadership development including executive coaching

Eligible Expenses

Eligible organizations must have completed at least one year of MMF grant funding.

The Standard CBG Program is intended to provide "pass-through" funding support for consultant fees and directly related costs, e.g., material resources, travel, and overnight lodging that is essential to the project. Support can include training fees, information technology, and other costs directly related to capacity building activities.

Standard CBG Application Process

Before applying, the nonprofit leadership staff and board should first discuss the grant purpose, expectations and process for requesting capacity building support. Applicants vet and select their own consultants before writing the application.  MMF has a policy not to recommend specific consultants, but a list of professionals who have worked with other MMF grantees can be provided.  Applicants must reach out to MMF staff before applying.  A preview of the application form is available here.  A preview of the final status report form is available here     

The Standard CBG key components:

  1. Applications are due at the regular MMF Responsive Grant cycle deadlines of August 1st at 11:59 p.m. or February 1st at 11:59 p.m.

  2. Maximum annual budget of $5 million or less.

  3. Minimum annual budget of $75,000 per year for the last three (3) years.

  4. If approved, payment is made at the start of the grant period.

  5. Final Status report will require grantee to upload all paid invoices to the consultant(s), showing how grant funds were expended.

  6. All CBG applications must demonstrate vetting more than one consultant and include the Request for Proposal (RFP) and the selected consultant’s proposed budget, workplan and timeline.  A toolkit from the Grand Victoria Foundation is available to assist with putting together an RFP if this is a new process for you.

  7. The CBG award limit is up to $25,000 for a one year grant period.  This can be combined with a Responsive grant application.

  8. For all requests other than strategic planning, applicants must include a copy of their strategic plan completed within the previous twenty-four (24) months.

  9. If requesting funds to conduct a strategic plan, MMF highly recommends an organizational assessment be completed first unless one has recently been completed.  Applications for the COAR grants are open on a rolling basis

  10. Please see the Capacity Building section of the Creating a Strong Proposal for Marillac Mission Fund document for additional guidance. 

  11. See more capacity building resources.

Ineligible Expenses

Examples of expenses that are not eligible for support under this program are as follows:    

  • Engagement of consultant to implement programming related to the project
  • Rental Fees
  • Lodging for Employees or Board Members
  • Software that is more than 15% of the total amount requested. 
  • Printing of general program-related materials, i.e., annual reports
  • Renovations or capital improvements
  • Financial deficits
  • One-time events that do not build long-term capacity (such as fundraising events or conferences).