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Capacity Building and Self Sustainability for Nonprofit Organizations and Municipalities

For over thirty years Columbia-Pacific RC&EDD has been a facilitator of regional projects and programs and provided training and technical assistance to build the capacity of organizations and communities to accomplish their goals. For the last nine years, Columbia-Pacific RC&EDD provided grantsmanship training through (3) three-day workshops a year and more personalized consultation, and housed the most complete grant library in western Washington outside of Seattle. In addition, we helped find grant funding for local projects and reviewed grant proposals for applicants.

As more organizations learn to obtain grants, it is becoming increasingly important that they know how to develop sustainable sources of support in order to continue their work. Columbia-Pacific RC&EDD recently expanded the training and technical assistance it offers to nonprofit organizations to include fund development planning and implementation, strategic planning assistance, and administrative services.

By learning to build their capacity, organizations and communities realize what they can do to accomplish programs and projects and what assets and resources are available in their communities to accomplish them. They learn to improve and expand services without relying on outside support and build lifelong, self-sustaining fund development and community development strategies. When local support plays a role in community projects and programs, communities take more pride in the projects and themselves. When people invest in something that benefits their community, they are more willing to ensure the success of the project.

To help encourage this, Columbia-Pacific RC&EDD created a new capacity-building program. In this program, seven organizations—each at a key point in its life stage for capacity building opportunities—and eight communities have been identified to receive assistance to move forward. Their needs vary, so the assistance proposed for each varies. The organizations represent broad community interests, including a housing group, a fire department, a library, a high-tech training center, an arts group, a youth center, a neighborhood playground group, two small community foundations and eight small cities. The types of assistance include consultation on capital campaigns, assisting the development and implementation of individual giving programs, assistance in moving to paid staffing, creating a business plan, market research, community asset inventories, building fund development plans and teaching communities how to prioritize and move projects off the shelf into reality.

Columbia-Pacific RC&EDD, working collaboratively with Grays Harbor Council of Governments and regional fund development officers, is committed to providing the training and technical assistance needed to help our communities learn how to pull themselves up by the bootstraps. The Columbia-Pacific Capacity Building program is designed to strengthen community development, economic development and cultural aspects of our four-county, rural district in an innovative and sustainable way.



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