Key Points

Community foundations have the potential to promote collaborative learning in a variety of ways as conveners, funders, and, in some instances, as nonprofit capacity builders. Yet little is known about what community foundations are doing to support capacity building. This article focuses specifically on nonprofit capacity building that is funded, organized, or led by community foundations in Illinois.

First, this article identifies the capacity-building efforts of those community foundations. Next, it summarizes results from a qualitative survey to share insights from leaders of the foundations that offer capacity-building opportunities. These data shed new light on our collective understanding of how community foundations define both capacity building and success in capacity building, what challenges they encounter, and how funders can overcome obstacles to effective capacity building.

The article concludes with practical recommendations for community foundations seeking to implement capacity-building opportunities.

Open Access