Building Capacity in Wards 7 and 8 - January 5, 2017

Nonprofit capacity building resources

Capacity Building Resources for Wards 7 and 8 catalogs all the resources we've shared. It is not password protected so share!

Capacity Building Opportunities

Trainings, webinars, panel discussions

HumanitiesDC grant webinars and workshops, various dates ( — HumanitiesDC is providing assistance to organizations interested in applying for the Soul of the City (SOTC) grants and Open Humanities Grants. Free.

Nonprofit Boards & Effective Governance, January 11( — Too many nonprofit boards can be described as "an ineffective group of effective people." Help turn your board around by participating in this webinar. Participants will leave with ways to "assemble an effective board," ways to "structure and operate a board effectively," and ways to make board members feel like the job is a win for the organization and a win for them. Free.

It's a New World—How to Cultivate Your Community Online, January 18 ( — Participants will learn from Dana Ostomel, Firespring's vice president of nonprofit industry development, the "secret sauce of cultivating a community primed and ready to support you." Free.

Mastering the Needs Section of Your Grant Proposal, January 25 ( — The needs section is the most important section of a grant proposal. Participants will learn whether your need is explained and correctly cited, ways to identify and document needs, and best of all, how to make your needs section and proposal overall stand out! Free.

Good reads
How to Build a Culture that Leaves Behind a Legacy ( — Have you said something along the lines of "We're not like the other nonprofits, we're a cool nonprofit." Or "We'll throw in casual Fridays! Done. Our nonprofit's culture ROCKS." Or "Yeah, let's give them the day after #GivingTuesday off to show them we care. Back to work on Thursday, folks!" Nonprofit Hub believes these do not make good culture make. Read this and implement the steps to make 2017 the first year of your legacy.

If I Knew Then: Tips from the Experts on Jumpstarting Your Social Impact Career ( — Wow. Wow. Wow. What an inspiring read, what terrific advice. Best of all, there is still time to do what these social impact leaders suggest. And of course, this is advice you can share with younger folks in your life. Some of what you will find:

  • "Master learning agility!  It is both a mindset and a skill set that includes being open to new ways of thinking and learning new skills." (Beth Kanter)
  • "Put serving your community first, your organization second and yourself third." (Brian Gallagher)
  • "My biggest advice is to not 'silo' yourself. Some of the best, most helpful lessons I learned as a young program staff member were sitting around the table at the end of the day stuffing envelopes with the Director of Development or getting to know the Office Manager over lunch." (Jonathan Zur) 

What fuels a movement? ( — Think you are alone in your organization struggles, quandries, doldrums, successes? Read this blog post from Public Lab. Public Lab admin Stevie recently talked with Chicago organizer Olga Bautista about challenges she and her colleagues face and key elements of leadership cultivation and development. Olga also offers advice, framed as "There are so many things to learn and practice." There's a ton to learn about working with community members in this post so take the time to read and share with others in your organization. And remember, "Passion alone is not enough - we need to be great organizers."

7 Elements Every Nonprofit Website Must Have in 2017( — "The online landscape is constantly evolving; while you don’t have to waste resources keeping up with every single trend out there, there are some that have become vital to online success—which is increasingly tied to the overall success of your organization.

From responsive design, to simple email signup forms, to prominent calls to action, incorporating these seven must-have features will boost your nonprofit’s reach, engagement, and impact."

Of course, all this advice presupposes that your organization is regularly adding content and making your website a must-visit site for information and help.

Podcasts and videos
Matt Cutts: Try something new for 30 days( — Cutts advocates for trying something new every 30 days... writing every day to complete a novel of 50,000 words, taking a picture, anything! Two key takeaways:

  • "There's a few things I learned while doing these 30-day challenges. The first was, instead of the months flying by, forgotten, the time was much more memorable."
  • "What are you waiting for? I guarantee you the next 30 days are going to pass whether you like it or not, so why not think about something you have always wanted to try and give it a shot! For the next 30 days."

Resources and tools

Posting a job/looking for a job? Will you be creating new positions in your organization this year? Will you be looking to move on? Nonprofit Tech for Good's 10 Online Job Boards for Nonprofit Professionals ( is a must-bookmark.

Why You Need a Communications Calendar( does as the title suggests: It explains why you need a communications calendar. And before you panic about identifying major and minor holidays and DC dates of importance, take a look at the blog post 2017 DC Editorial Calendar out (

Takeafile is a free online file transfer tool ( Do you share files with family, friends, colleagues? Takeafile makes transferring files, especially large ones, easy. Takeafile folks explain the basics in FAQs (, some of which are here:

  • Why is it better than e-mail? E-mails have a size limitation (Gmail has a limit of 25MB). With you can send any size, as long as the receiver has enough free disk space, of course.
  • Why is it better than Dropbox or Google Drive? These services have a space quota. Once it is full you have to remove files by hand or pay for more space. With your file is not stored in any server, only in the receiver computer. Send the file and forget about it, no worries!
  • Ok, what are the drawbacks? The drawback is that the sender has to keep the webpage open till the file has been transferred. This limitation is inherent in the concept of a peer to peer, serverless, system. Moreover, the system is only compatible with Chrome and Firefox at the moment.

Do you have a capacity building tool or resource to share? Please email information to

Have a go-to tool or capacity building resource? Please share.

Do you have a capacity building resource to share? Please email information to