The Chesapeake Bay Trust leads and administers the The Capacity Building Initiative (CBI) on behalf of the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network. CBI seeks to build both individual organization and collaborative capacity to advance regional environmental and community health goals.
The CBI invests resources at three levels:
1) Movement level investments: including the development of tools and trainings that advance the field.
2) Regional (Collaborative) level investments: including critical Infrastructure to advance shared goals, this comes in the form of collaborative model development or enhancement through backbone support, training, leadership development, and shared resources.
3) Individual organization level investments: through a competitive annual grant program.
Background: “Organizational capacity” is defined as activities that strengthen an organization and help it better fulfill its mission. Organizations that are strong and healthy are better able to accomplish their missions, which in turn allows the entire community to realize its collective goal of healthy natural resources given the degree of partnership that exist across organizations.
What does this program fund? This program funds key capacity building strategies vital to establishing a strong base, including (but not limited to) the development of robust financial plans to modify or diversify organizational revenue sources and collaboration among organizations. Collaborative models may range from increased coordination through network development, sharing of back office support, and/or shared decision making and resources to full integration of programs, planning, and funding via organizational mergers. Requests to modify or develop more robust organizational financial plans or to investigate and plan for collaborations or mergers among organizations are encouraged.
Examples of other specific tools for which funds may be requested include: organizational assessments, consultant or facilitation costs for planning, financial management or donor management software, financial planning, video conferencing software, fees or registration costs for board or staff training opportunities, website design specifically related to online giving and membership, printing and postage for membership drives or annual appeals, presentation materials, and administrative hardware costs. This list is not exhaustive. Please contact the program manager to discuss your idea before applying.
Who can apply? The Funding partners and the Trust welcome requests from 501(c)(3) Nonprofit organizations working in the Chesapeake Region with a water and/or natural resource focused mission. For all eligibility requirements refer to the RFP.
How much can be awarded? Requests up to $30,000
How much is available in the program? $350,000
Grant Application Process: The Chesapeake Bay Trust’s grant applications are all submitted through our online system linked to the right.
Program Status: Closed
To view the previous version the RFP, click here.
Deadline: The most recent deadline was Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 4pm EST
Manage an Existing Grant
Manage an Existing Grant or Continue an Application
Questions and Technical Support
Director or Programs
(410) 974-2941 x 104
The Trust will be offering a Diversity. Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Learning Series for a limited number of non-profit organizations and regional funders (up to 50 – to be determined) please check back for more details, which will be posted here as they become available.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training – Organizational Leadership and Leadership Culture
The purpose of the training was to assist non-profit leaders with their commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ). Through structured engagement, including small break-out groups, participants had the opportunity to discuss organizational leadership and culture regarding DEIJ, specifically focused on:
- how organizations can and should diversify their boards and leadership,
- how to overcome common (real or perceived) obstacles to doing so, and
- how to develop and maintain a leadership culture that ensures leaders and/or board members of color not only stay with the organization but feel they have agency and power to make change where necessary.
About the Facilitator:
Francisco “Paco” Ollervides, PhD has worked directly with individual leaders and organizations in diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice initiatives in the environmental sector for over 20 years. He assists strategic planning as well as conceptualizing, innovating, and driving forward initiatives that allow individuals to learn and act equitably and as stewards to our planet. His focus is on building the power of the environmental movement by facilitating opportunities for People of Color to excel in the sector through client and sponsor relationship management, customer satisfaction and retention, and staff management.
DEIJ in Action Webinar
During this webinar, the Chesapeake Legal Alliance, Chesapeake Conservancy, and Chesapeake Commons discussed successes and barriers they have encountered to carry out their organizational DEIJ goals. The Chesapeake Bay Trust, on behalf of the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network (CBFN) also provided an update on CBFN’s Capacity Building Initiative and resources available for DEIJ efforts. Attendees left with a greater understanding of approaches to make the Chesapeake Bay community more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and just.
View the recording here.
Restoration Project Management Training
In May 2019 through a competitive bid process the Trust on behalf of the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network contracted Johnson, Miriam, and Thompson Engineering (JMT), to provide training and coaching services to 25 regional non-profit water focused organizations interested in learning more about effective restoration project management. The training was held in Hunt Valley Maryland at JMT’s headquarters. The agenda included six modules provided over the course of two days on April 24th and 25th2019. The modules covered topics like permit acquisition, planning, partnership management, and budget management among other topics. Additionally, JMT provided a sub-set of training attendees mentoring services. For example JMT provided over-the-shoulder review for Blue Water Baltimore and City of Lancaster on several construction specifications and proposal templates as well as a constructability plan review for a green infrastructure projects.
None at this time – Check back at a later date.
- The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Guide – DEIJ in Action is the result of a collaboration between Chesapeake Bay Trust, the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network, and the Choose Clean Water Coalition. This report provides recommendations for how organizations working on environmental issues and the funders who support them, can increase DEIJ within their organizations.
- DEIJ in Action Appendix
Network Building Resources:
- The Innovation Network for Communities provides network building materials to accelerate and deepen systems level change.
Organizational Capacity Building Resources:
- The Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT) – The CCAT is a leading tool for measuring a nonprofit’s organizational effectiveness in relation to four core capacities – leadership, adaptability, management, and technical – as well as organizational culture.
- The Marguerite Casey Organizational Self-Assessment is intended for self-guided use by nonprofit organizations to identify capacity strengths and challenges and establish capacity building goals.
- The Society for Organizational Learning’s Five Disciplines for Building Learning Organizations
- The Expanding the Circle Lessons Learned Report summarizes the Expanding the Circle Pilot Program. This program was started in 2015 by the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network and the Chesapeake Bay Trust. Included in this report are summaries of each project, lessons learned, and recommendation for both watershed organization and funders.