Local Funders Collaborate to Help Grow Healthy Nonprofits

This year marks 15 years for the Nonprofit Technical Assistance (NPTA) Fund. This Fund represents a broad collaboration that has included 14 Grand Rapids-area funders.

Since its inception, the NPTA Fund has awarded over $2.3M to 170 local nonprofits to boosting the capacity and infrastructure of Kent County nonprofits. Grants from the NPTA Fund range from $300 to $10,000 and are awarded to nonprofits to increase their capacity in the areas of strategic planning, IT, fund development, governance, communications, and human resources.

For its part, Grand Rapids Community Foundation holds and administers the Fund. The Community Foundation is also a consistent annual donor to this effort. In all the Community Foundation has awarded grants totaling $610,000 to the NPTA Fund—including $40,000 in its most recent grant round.

Here are a handful of examples of the good work this Fund has made possible:

Our Hope Association

Our Hope received $9,900 to transition client records from a paper and physical filing system to an electronic medical record database.  They recognized that doing so would promote administrative, financial and clinical productivity and efficiency.

Literacy Center of West Michigan

The Literacy Center received $5,000 to develop a marketing plan. The result was a set of clear organizational messages for staff and board members, website content, a new logo and digital strategy. Due in part to this work, the Center increased the number of volunteer tutors paired with learners by 26 percent in one year’s time, thus increasing organizational impact.

John Knox Community Food Pantry

John Knox received $9,700 to work with a fund development consultant. The deliverables included an annual appeal strategy, a newsletter template, a community ambassador program, and audience personas for most effectively engaging people interested in its mission.

United Church Outreach Ministry

UCOM initially received a $6,225 grant to restructure and Improve board and staff leadership. This served as a foundation for successfully addressing fund development practices and planning, marketing and outreach, technology upgrades and program evaluation. 

Grand Rapids Children’s Museum

In late 2015, Grand Rapids Children’s Museum received $6,852 for its diversity and inclusion project. The grant is helping the Museum to assess its current practices, explore best practices and come up with an action plan to take its inclusive practices to the next level.  The Museum engaged Partners for a Racism Free Community for this work.

The next grant application deadline is March 17, 2017.  Learn more at www.nptafund.org.