Triangle Capacity-Building Network Announces 9 Inaugural Grantees, Focusing on Funding Organizations

Triangle Capacity-Building Network Announces 9 Inaugural Grantees, Focusing on Funding Organizations Led by People of Color and the Communities They Serve

Research Triangle Park, July 31, 2019: Triangle Capacity-Building Network, comprised of a growing collection of local funders, has announced the inaugural group of grantee partners, who will collectively receive over $150,000 to strengthen their operations in an effort to build a stronger ecosystem of nonprofits in the Triangle.
The 9 grantees are BUMP: The Triangle, Carolina Justice Policy Center, El Pueblo, Inc., Hispanic Liaison of Chatham County (aka El Vínculo Hispano), StandUp-SpeakOut of North Carolina, StrongHER TogetHER, Student U, The Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History, and Village of Wisdom.
The Network is focused on disrupting the status quo, changing the narrative, and doing things differently in the nonprofit sector and the communities it serves. The funders collaborative champions organizations that are ready to work on their internal processes, procedures, plans, and people in order to thrive in the communities they serve. These inaugural grantees stood out for their commitment to doing the hard but often unfunded work that is necessary to continue meeting their missions. Grantee projects will include developing a funding model, strategic planning, creating a data analysis tool, racial equity training, marketing tools, culture building, and more.
Since the Network’s creation in 2014, they have commissioned research, engaged nonprofits in conversations about capacity building, and built a strategic direction with a desired outcome of creating strong nonprofits in the Triangle region of North Carolina.
“The ultimate outcome of this work is a Triangle region full of healthy, powerful nonprofits, in which every organization relies on strong leadership to support its mission and growth, and we believe that funders play a key role in supporting and strengthening that ecosystem, “said Lori O’Keefe, President and CEO of Triangle Community Foundation. “But to do that we have to address some significant challenges.”
One key metric that the research and discussion showed is the fact that area nonprofit leadership is predominantly white-led, a statistic that hasn’t changed much in the last ten years and isn’t reflective of the clients and communities served. This was a challenge that the Network chose to address. Because of this, the group targeted the inaugural funding to organizations led by and serving black and brown people that have traditionally been excluded or overlooked by power structures and funding cycles. The Network is purposefully and intentionally elevating capacity building needs for organizations led by and serving people of color. Capacity building is essential to a strong organization and ecosystem and worthy of investment, especially to those organizations who are trusted in community and have established deep relationships through authentic partnerships. 
“We appreciate the opportunity to invest in the Network as a way to show collaboration with other regional funding partners, as well as to support the ultimate goal of supporting strong Triangle nonprofits,” said Gladys Hairston, Program Officer at the John Rex Endowment. “Being able to strategically and intentionally provide access to capacity building funding for organizations led by people of color was really important to us in this first funding opportunity.”
The Network is actively made up of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, John Rex Endowment, Oak Foundation, The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, and Triangle Community Foundation, with other regional funders and nonprofit consultants also participating. The collaborative plans to continue learning alongside these inaugural grantees and lift up the unique challenges and barriers to building organizational strength and strategies that will promote a healthy nonprofit infrastructure here in the Triangle. Funders and donors interested in learning more may contact Jessica Aylor at