All nonprofit organizations need help from time to time in order to function more effectively and efficiently. This is especially true of new or emerging nonprofit organizations or those with smaller budgets. And recognizing that an organization is facing a challenge, or needs to improve in some area, and then identifying what kind of help the organization needs, is a sign that the organization is self-aware and proactive — positive traits to be proud of!
That’s why the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Organizational Effectiveness Initiative, with support from the Kresge Foundation, will provide small grants for nonprofit organizations to get technical assistance. Technical Assistance (TA) can be many things, but what is most important is that TA helps the staff and/or board members of the organization learn something new and increase their capacity to lead, manage, and govern the organization.
Examples of possible TA could include: working with a consultant to assist staff and board in development of a fundraising or a strategic plan for the organization; hiring a facilitator for a board retreat to grow governance abilities; or board and staff attending a workshop or training session on a specific topic, such as evaluation, strategic communications, financial management, or fundraising.
In addition, organizations may use these funds to complete an organizational assessment process. All of these forms of TA share the outcome that the staff and/or board members of the organization will be actively involved in the TA process and will learn new skills or information that will help the organization change and improve.
A successful request will be focused and have a well-defined scope of work. It will give evidence of a good fit between the nonprofit and the potential consultant, training or assessment process. It answers the questions, “What can we really accomplish? and “How will this help us be more effective?”
We would not, for example, provide a TA grant for the printing of a new brochure designed to increase awareness of the organization or a consultant to write a grant proposal on behalf of your organization. But we would consider a TA grant for the staff and/or board members to work with a consultant to develop a marketing plan for the organization or for a staff member to attend a grant writing workshop to upgrade their skill levels. The first is passive — you pay someone to do something for you. The second is active — you pay someone to do something with you — and in the process you acquire new skills and information.
To read more on general guidelines, eligibility requirement, TA providers, and specifics on requesting a TA grant and reporting, click here…