Key Points

Foundations often rely on strong relationships with grantees doing frontline work in marginalized communities. Yet these nonprofits typically face myriad financial and policy pressures that must be managed amid increasing need for their services. Helping them expand their impact requires funders to invest in their grantees’ organizational health and capacity.

This article discusses the capacity-building funding experiences of Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, which saw firsthand the needs of grantees when it partnered with eight community-health organizations through its Sí Texas initiative and, in response, created a $1.5 million capacity-building program for those organizations.

This article also shares the findings of an evaluation of the technical-assistance portion of the program, which led to learning in three critical areas for grantmakers that award capacity-building support: the role of the funder, ensuring sustainable change, and impact evaluation that is useful for both foundations and grantees.

Open Access