Organizational Effectiveness

Organizational effectiveness, or OE, is the ability of an organization to marshal its knowledge, skills, and other resources to effectively fulfill its purpose. Also referred to as “capacity building,” OE describes the effort to ensure that nonprofits benefit from good management and strong governance, and are equipped to deliver programs that serve the community.
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TA Grants are currently closed.

Technical Assistance Grants

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.

What this grant will fund

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 proposal 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 is the technical assistance your organization will engage in? and “How will this help your organization be more effective?”

What this grant will NOT fund

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.

General Guidelines

  • No deadline dates — grant requests are considered on an ongoing basis. First come, first served until the funding runs out.
  • Grants range from $500 to a maximum total of $5,000.
  • Priority will be given to requests pertaining to the Organizational Effectiveness Initiative’s current areas of focus (board governance, financial management, fundraising, partnering & collaboration, strategic communications, and succession planning).
  • Quick turn-around — a decision will be made on your request approximately four weeks from the date that the request letter is received at the Foundation.
  • TA grants will not be made for activities that have already occurred, or are underway, at the time the grant would be awarded, so please plan ahead.

Eligibility to Apply

  • The 2017 Technical Assistance grants are limited to 501(c)3 human service organizations with their primary office located within Orleans Parish. Click here [PDF] for a definition of human service organization as defined for this project by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, Kresge Foundation, and Urban Institute.
  • An organization may apply for a TA grant even it has separately received another grant from the Foundation within the same year.
  • An organization that has previously received a TA grant may apply for additional grants in subsequent years. However, successful recurring requests must show that the organization has built upon previous strategies. The Foundation will not consider ongoing funding for the same technical assistance activity.

TA Providers

You may use an individual consultant, nonprofit, or for-profit organization as your TA provider. If necessary, we can offer information on nonprofit organizations that provide technical assistance, however your organization must decide which specific provider to use. Please see attached overview on Nonprofit Consultants – How to Choose Them and Work with Them [click here to download PDF].

In all instances, applicants should interview more than one consultant to determine the best fit and understanding of the problem or opportunity for which you will be applying.

Please note that a TA grant may not be used to pay a board member or any party whose direct affiliation with your organization could be construed as or would create a conflict of interest.  While you may have highly competent professional resources on your board, the Greater New Orleans Foundation would expect these resources to be provided as an in-kind donation.

Requesting a TA Grant

Requests for TA grants will be accepted electronically through our online portal. You must log on to the online portal to access the proposal questions.

Our technology partner, Foundant, has created a brief tutorial for applicants that may be viewed here. It is highly recommended that all applicants review this video before beginning a new application in order to better understand the process.

 

Reporting

If you receive funding, you will be required to submit a final report that describes the outcome or result of the TA you received and a description of how this assistance benefited your organization.

All details about reporting will be specified in your grant agreement. In addition to your final report submitted to the Greater New Orleans Foundation, we seek to create a sense of shared learning among all TA grantees and will expect that you will share your experience with other organizations in informal and formal ways. We may convene all grantees to attend a meeting(s) to discuss the learning from this technical assistance program.

 

If you have any additional questions regarding the grant parameters or your eligibility to apply, please contact Kellie Chavez Greene, Senior Program Officer for Organizational Effectiveness at kellie@gnof.org, or call 504-598-4663.