Capacity Building Innovation Award

Have you ever found yourself saying, “If I only had a little more time, I would be able to plan this great idea that will make our organization much stronger?”  You are not alone!  We know that you have great ideas just waiting to be fulfilled IF you only had the time and resources to do so.  With the daily hustle and bustle of leading a nonprofit organization, you often don’t have time to think innovatively about the way your organization functions.   Is there a staff sharing model that you’d like to design?  Have you thought about developing a for-profit subsidiary to support the nonprofit mission?  Has a board member suggested you convert all communications from an information sharing strategy to a storytelling strategy to better share your mission?

The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, in partnership with The Forbes Funds, is pleased to launch our newest initiative, the Capacity Building Innovation Award.  We want to reward nonprofit organizations that are willing to commit to strengthening their agencies through innovation of thought and to commit to spending the time needed to flush out those ideas that will strengthen their capacity for years to come. 



The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, in partnership with The Forbes Funds, will choose 15- 20 semifinalists and 8-10 finalists. 

As a semifinalist, you will receive the following benefits: 

  • Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT) and professional analysis  (Estimated Value = $500)

As a finalist, you will receive the following benefits: 

  • General operating grant of $10,000!
  • Support services worth an estimated $5,000!

    * Participation in the Capacity Building Innovation Cohort
    * Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT) and professional analysis
    * 5 exclusive professional development opportunities tailored to support your “big idea”
    * Personal coaching through Forbes Fund’s Executive in Residence program  


To apply, organizations must meet the following eligibility requirements: 

  • Majority area of service falls within Westmoreland County
  • Annual operating budget under $1,000,000
  • Evidence of capacity building need
  • Clarity of desired outcome
  • A “big idea” you wish to explore
  • Authorization to participate by Board Chair and Executive Director 


1.  Information Session.  Come to an information session to learn more!  Representatives from the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County and Forbes Funds will discuss in detail the goals of the initiative, eligibility requirements, application process, and benefits for those selected as finalists.  
2.  Letter of Inquiry.  Now that you understand the process, you are invited to submit an initial letter of inquiry which can be submitted using The Pittsburgh Foundation’s online grant portal.  The letter of inquiry was designed for you to explain your capacity building concern and share your “big idea”.  Use the blue "Apply Now" button below starting April 17th to access the grant portal.
3.  Semi-Finalist!  Our selection committee will review all of the ideas and select the most promising to submit full proposals in the semi-finalist round.  If selected, you will now be asked to submit a full proposal through The Pittsburgh Foundation online grant portal. 
4.  Finalist!!  Congratulations.  You have been selected as a Capacity Building Innovation Award winner and will receive the benefits listed above.   You will now join a cohort of 8-10 nonprofits that will work together over the next 6 months to flush out your big idea and bring it to fruition.  

Apply Now


Information Session – April 17, 2017,  3:00 – 4:00 pm

Letter of Inquiry Deadline – May 5, 2017

Semi-Finalists Announced – May 19, 2017

Full Proposal Deadline – June 9, 2017

Finalists Announced – June 30, 2017