New round of capacity building projects

The Jumpstart Consulting Initiative seeks to catalyze the efforts of 10 nonprofits to build their individual donor base.


A key goal of the Collaborative is to produce and disseminate best of class examples of organizations that are successfully diversifying their funding base by building new capacities to reach individual donors.

The Jumpstart Consulting Initiative provides fully funded consulting to “jump start” the capacity building process for nonprofit organizations (NPOs) that are well positioned to act.

The structure is as follows:


  1. A funder nominates candidate NPOs that meet the basic criteria (see below)
  2. Interested NPOs fill out an online survey that surfaces the particular topic to be addressed (i.e. marketing, cultivation strategy, web, database, etc.)
  3. Final recipients are chosen by CWR in consultation with the nominating funder
  4. CWR performs the analysis and produces a final brief report that diagnoses the key problems, outlines the opportunity, and describes the recommended solutions
  5. The report is made available to any member of the Collaborative (incl. the nominating funder)
  6. Within two weeks, the NPO shares with the Collaborative its intended follow up actions.


Over 20 similar projects have been successfully completed (read about the first cohort of projects here).

Intended benefit

Participating NPOs receive:


  • Insight into the nature of their key issues
  • Process to catalyze long held desires into action
  • Documentation of their capacity building needs to support future requests to funders
  • “Shopping list” to guide staff efforts, volunteer recruitment, or shopping for outside consultants


Nominating funders receive:


  • Grantees that can better formulate and validate their requests for capacity building funding
  • Independent visibility into their grantees’ organizational situation
  • Intellectual capital gained from all of the consulting projects done via the Capacity Collaborative


Critera to guide nominating funders

Funders should consider the following qualities in NPOs:
  • Organizational stability (note: as a very rough rule, we have found that agencies with operating budgets of at least $1M benefit most from our projects)
  • Leadership’s commitment to diversifying funder base and readiness to act
  • Likelihood of receiving future investment from you for capacity building
  • Strategic importance to your mission as a funder
The Collaborative has already secured funding for 10 projects in the Bay Area and Southern California.  Your insight and informed judgment are the key ingredients still needed.  If you wish to participate, please contact us.