Capacity Building Grants: A New Process


The Foundation bases its work on the principles and values of our donors, Helene and Esther Foellinger. The principles are integrity, accountability, responsibility and results. We work diligently to make sure those principles play out in our interactions with applicants, and with grantees in the categories of early childhood, youth, family development and community interests.

The principles are also relevant to another of our grantmaking categories—capacity building. For more than two decades, Foellinger Foundation has provided capacity building grants to nonprofits in Allen County. While we are proud to support the work those organizations do in our community, we are equally proud to support the important work they do internally to improve their effectiveness.

In 2018, we reflected on the capacity work accomplished over the past 20 years. We concluded it was an appropriate time to refine the capacity building grant framework and focus on mission alignment and organizational financial participation.

Mission Alignment

The Foundation is sharpening its focus on providing capacity building support to organizations:

  • whose mission is aligned with Foellinger Foundation’s; and

  • who have shown the ability to strengthen their organizations through other Foundation’s investments.

We will continue to support appropriate nonprofit organizations with capacity building funds. However, we will more consciously direct organizations that are not in the core of our mission to funders with whom they better align.

Organizational Financial Participation

Organizations that commit a portion of their own resources to a capacity building process (or secure a portion from another source) will make the strongest case for grant support. Amounts and types of these commitments may vary by organization and project.


Nonprofit organizations that align with the Foundation’s mission may speak with our Director of Programs. That conversation will determine if and in what way an organization might proceed with a capacity building application.

If it is determined that a nonprofit organization does not align with the Foundation’s mission or has not met other eligibility requirements, the organization may access the Resource Guide for Capacity Building, located on the Resources page of our website. The Guide was developed to provide resources for community nonprofits that are beyond the scope and strategy of the Foundation’s grant making. It includes a list of resources and a “do-it-yourself” assessment.

There are no deadlines for capacity grants. Capacity grants require up to 60 business days for review and decision.

Inquiries about capacity building grants should go to Foundation Director of Programs Dawn Martz.