Six Nonprofits Start New Capacity Building Program

We have a new group of nonprofits for our capacity building initiative POWER (People & Organizations With Energy & Resilience.) The program is designed to assist grassroots organizations and organizations in the start-up lifecycle phase. Six nonprofits will be working for a year to increase their strength and operating capacity. Learn More »

The Gifford Foundation has announced the second round of a capacity building initiative designed to assist grassroots organizations and organizations in the start-up lifecycle phase. Entitled POWER, which stands for “People & Organizations With Energy & Resilience,” the $109,000 program aims to increase the strength and operating capacity of six small selected nonprofits.

The organizations in POWER 2 are:

Believe in Syracuse promotes the positive features of the Greater Syracuse Area and cultivates connections and civic engagement within the Greater Syracuse community.

Cuse Pit Crew’s mission is to “Refuel the Human-Animal Connection” in the Syracuse area through community outreach and educational programming, while advocating for pit bulls and other misunderstood breeds.

Dance Theater of Syracuse is dedicated to providing pre-professional dance training to young artists and providing emerging dance artists with a place to develop new work.

The Onondaga Earth Corps empowers youth to be active participants in creating positive change for their communities and the environment.

Open Hand Theater celebrates the human experience through puppetry, masks and theater traditions from around the world.

RISE (Refugee & Immigrant Self-Empowerment) advocates and promotes self-sufficiency through employment, education, social support and economic independence for members of the refugee and immigrant communities in Onondaga County, NY.

As with the initial pilot from 2015, POWER 2 was designed using concepts developed by organizational consultant Dr. Susan Kenny Stevens of the Nonprofit  Lifecycles Institute. This “meet them where they are” method is known as the “Lifecycle Approach” to capacity building. Consultant Maria Fibiger of Three Dog Consulting will again serve as project leader, training and overseeing local consultants.

For the next twelve months, these specially trained consultants will each spend 85 hours working with assigned organizations’ leadership teams to guide a self-assessment, develop a capacity building work plan and provide ongoing coaching and support. The organizations will participate in facilitated learning sessions on a variety of topics, providing them with an opportunity to network and learn from their peers. After each organization completes an assessment they will be provided with a $6,000 grant to support a capacity building project.

The initial five organizations in POWER 1 were 100 Black Men of Syracuse, CNY Arts Center, David’s Refuge, Good Life Foundation and Helping Hounds Dog Rescue.

“The organizations who participated in the pilot last year provided valuable feedback,” notes lead consultant Fibiger. “This encouraged Gifford to extend the program to a full year so as to add additional consulting hours, learning sessions and grant support.”

“As a result of POWER we definitively moved out of start-up,” reports Kate Houck, executive director of David’s Refuge. “With this support we were able to start transforming our board and utilizing new tools to serve our families.”

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