Capacity Building Initiative for Family Engagement

The 2-year Capacity Building Initiative (CBI) for Family Engagement cohort will engage 12 nonprofit or fiscally sponsored organizations in a participant-driven capacity building model to empower families in K-12 educational systems. The intent of CBI is to help participants deepen their efforts to engage families, and ultimately, create more culturally responsive, welcoming, and hospitable schools for BIPOC families by strengthening their internal capacity.

This program is rooted in the belief that families and communities should be seen and supported as leaders and full partners in the schools, that their partnership and participation in schools is a pathway to systems change, and that they play a critical role in advocating for improved school, district, and state policies and practices. This program is built on a hybrid of self-determined, individualized capacity building activities coupled with cohort learning and relationship building. This multifaceted approach will include 5 areas:

1. Organizational Assessment

Propel Nonprofits’ strategic consultants will conduct an organizational assessment for each participant to better understand organizations’ needs and opportunities. Assessment results will be used to develop a custom capacity building plan, goals, and timeline.

2. Grant Support

Grants totaling more than $1 million will be distributed during the 2-year cohort to the 12 organizations in the following category areas: general operating, professional development, capacity for change, and opportunity funds. All grantees will be required to submit financial and program updates.

3. Convenings

Organizations will participate in 1 to 2 all-group convenings annually, including a program launch, to form connections and share achievements, aspirations, and common capacity goals. At least one convening will focus on collaboration.

4. Learning Labs

Organizations will participate in quarterly nonprofit management/leadership training on topics including fiscal management, evaluation, donor relations, communications, board development, and more, based on organizational assessments and program participant input.

5. Responsive Technical Assistance

Propel staff will provide one-on-one support, acting as a partner, guide, and coach as organizations implement their capacity building plans.

The CBI for Family Engagement is made possible with funding from and partnership with the McKnight Foundation and The Minneapolis Foundation.


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