Capacity Building Grants Program

Investing in Capacity

Our Capacity Building Grants program supports organizations that are actively striving to improve the efficiency and efficacy of their work by investing in core operations. These grants focus on supporting an organization’s internal capacity, funding short-term projects that must be completed within six months.

Bainbridge Community Foundation (BCF) recognizes that most organizations want to perform their work more efficiently and effectively. Our Capacity Building Grants are geared toward improvements in the areas of administration, governance, planning, and fundraising. Funding is focused on building an organization’s internal capacity in these areas in order to strengthen and support our local nonprofit sector.

Capacity building is distinguishable from direct program services, general operating support, or capital expenses in that it seeks to increase the knowledge, skill level and/or efficiency of a nonprofit board and/or staff. Capacity building services are typically provided by an individual outside of the organization who has the expertise and the ability to focus on one aspect of an organization’s management. These include but are not limited to:

  • Board and staff training
  • Strategic planning
  • Analysis of programs, technology, and fundraising
  • Program evaluation


During six years of grant-making through our Capacity Building Grants program, BCF has awarded over $46,000 to 25 different organizations. In 2018, we awarded $15,210 in Capacity Building Grants to 12 area nonprofits, helping each organization strengthen and improve internal operations. Awards ranged from $750 to $1,500:

Arts & Humanities Bainbridge: $1,000—Arts & Humanities Bainbridge received funding for a strategic planning meeting to assess its mission and focus and support a development and marketing plan.

Bainbridge Island Museum of Art: $1,000—Bainbridge Island Museum of Art received a grant award to develop its fundraising staff capacity through training by Kitsap Center for Nonprofit Excellence.

Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center: $1,500—Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center received a grant for fundraising education and implementation, including processes and tools for its board, staff, and volunteers.

Bainbridge Island Zero Waste: $1,000—Bainbridge Island Zero Waster received funding for volunteer training to propel the organization into its second decade.

Bainbridge Performing Arts: $1,000—Bainbridge Performing Arts received funding for its board of trustees to attend a nonprofit storytelling and fundraising workshop for its board of trustees.

Bainbridge Public Library: $750—Bainbridge Public Library received a grant to support hiring a consultant to analyze fundraising efforts, create a development plan, and train board members.

Holly Ridge Center: $1,500—To support a rigorous accreditation process, Holly Ridge Center received funding for CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) certification training.

Housing Resources Bainbridge: $1,500—Housing Resources Bainbridge received a grant to support board and staff training with a 501 Commons consultant using the Boards in Gear tool and CliftonStrengths method.

Island Time Activities: $1,500—Island Time Activities received funding to create a new strategic plan, update bylaws, recruit board members, and provide training and development to board and staff.

PAWS of Bainbridge Island & North Kitsap: $1,500—To support development work, PAWSBINK received a grant to engage a consultant to analyze fundraising efforts, suggest improvements, and train board members and staff.

Raising Resilience: $1,460—Raising Resilience received funding to hire a local expert facilitator to guide the organization through the development and creation of a strategic plan and development matrix.

Salish Sea Expeditions: $1,500—Salish Sea Expeditions received funding for a focus group facilitator to work with its staff and board members on a Theory of Change process for its Sound Program.

Does your nonprofit organization want to apply for a Capacity Building Grants Program award? Here’s how!

“The support of Bainbridge Community Foundation and its donors has been instrumental in transforming a good idea of four years ago into to a vibrant and effective program with a proven track record that delivers multiple benefits to our community.”
—Bainbridge Island Land Trust