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Capacity Building Scholarship Program with NSC

Nonprofit Partners

Scholarships provide access to cohort roundtable, education, 8 hours of consultation and services

In the last few years, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks surveyed its nonprofit partners to better understand the need for capacity-building services. The results were resoundingly clear: A capacity-building organization is much needed by our nonprofit community.

The CFO has partnered with Network for Strong Communities, a trusted and well-established capacity-building organization based in St. Louis, to bring its services to our region. NSC is opening an office, initially housed at The efactory, in downtown Springfield.

Thanks to an anonymous donor, the CFO is providing support for 10 “capacity building scholarships” to introduce our nonprofit community to NSC.

About the Capacity Building Scholarship Program

This program gives organizations access to training, coaching, peer mentoring, and consultative services. Selected organizations will complete a multi-dimensional assessment, set goals, complete check-ins, and participate in learning and consultative opportunities.

There will be 10 spots available in the 2023 cohort for the CBS program. Organizations that participate in the program will complete the NSC capacity assessment at the start and end of the program. This assessment measures the organization’s understanding of best practices in the following areas: planning and goal setting, board function, financial management, human resources, program, fundraising, marketing, and collaboration.

Organizations will then receive a workplan based on their assessment scores. This plan includes goals for the cohort year, consultation/coaching descriptions, and workshop topic recommendations. Each organization has access to a cohort roundtable, 12 learning opportunities, and 8 hours of consultation and services.

Program Criteria

  • Nonprofit agency partners of the CFO are eligible to apply.
  • Organization must have 501(c)3 status.
  • Organization has been established for a minimum of 3 years.
  • Applications will not be accepted from public entities (including schools).
  • This initial cohort is focused on organizations providing services to children, young adults under 30 and low-income families.

Program Timeline

  • Application period opens Oct. 1.
  • Application period closes Nov. 30.
  • Scholarship recipients will be selected and notified by Dec. 21.
  • Scholarship program will launch Jan. 16.

Apply Now Download Info Packet (PDF)

About NSC — Network for Strong Communities

Who We Are

We’re a nonprofit. We strengthen the impact of other nonprofits by providing strategic, educational, and administrative support services. NSC provides affordable, cost-effective programs and resources to nonprofits, helping organizations streamline their operations and enable them to have greater community impact. NSC is led by a state-wide Board of Directors and was founded as a nonprofit in 1996. Hundreds of nonprofit organizations and over 2,500 nonprofit practitioners and community volunteers benefit from NSC programs annually. All services are provided to nonprofits and their volunteers at greatly discounted rates or free because of NSC’s charitable status, which allows us to receive charitable donations and grant funding. NSC also provides services to funders and corporate partners.

What We Do

NSC convenes some of the best minds in the business during our full schedule of workshops and learning sessions, where they share expert knowledge and best practices in a casual, comfortable atmosphere. Topics include technology, marketing, accounting, grant writing and more, as well as Roundtable and Brown Bag Sessions. These are facilitated events where peers gather to share their knowledge and work together to solve challenges.

NSC provides administrative and bookkeeping services to nonprofits. Fees are up to 50% below market rate, which gives nonprofits professional support in a fee structure that is less than other private sector providers or the cost of hiring permanent staff.

NSC’s team of professionals helps our nonprofit partners look at the “big picture” and determine what is needed to move their organizations forward. That might mean we have a discussion with the board and leadership to make sure everyone is on the same page. We might look at the competitive environment and create a path to meet unique goals. We might talk with staff and determine what areas they know could be improved. We synthesize this information and use it to help our clients form their strategic vision. Once complete, this becomes a road map for all areas of the organization – from resource development to marketing and program providers – as they ensure day-to-day efforts are aligned with larger goals.

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