Triangle Community Foundation

Partners for Impact worked with Triangle Community Foundation, the John Rex Endowment, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of North Carolina, the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation and the Oak Foundation to build a collaborative funding process that focused on funding capacity building activities of organizations led by people of color.

Since 2014, funders from across the Triangle region of North Carolina have been meeting regularly to talk about the nonprofit sector and the desire to see agencies succeed and build their internal capacity. Since that time the Triangle Capacity-Building Network has commissioned research, engaged nonprofits in conversations about capacity building and built a strategic direction with a desired outcome of creating strong nonprofits in the Triangle region of North Carolina. One of the most important lessons from the data compiled by NC State University’s Institute for Nonprofits that guides the collaboratives overall direction is that nonprofits report having lower levels of adaptive capacity, those which primarily focus on challenges for which there is no single answer. The collaborative has identified the following key outcomes for this capacity building effort:

  • Nonprofits have skills, knowledge, and commitment to adapt, innovate, and improve

  • Nonprofit leaders and potential leaders have skills, knowledge, and commitment to adapt, innovate, and improve

  • Nonprofits have access to skilled, diverse, and high-quality capacity building providers and opportunities


The Triangle Community Foundation contracted with Partners for Impact to provide services to the Triangle Capacity-Building Network. The contract was to design and implement a funding process to invest up to $25,000 in organizations for capacity building.  Additional elements of the contract were associated with providing backbone support for the Triangle Capacity-Building Network, and will not be reported on here.  

This report is a summary of key activities and lessons that were learned throughout the process of designing and implementing a funding distribution process. It culminates in recommendations moving forward at the process level and for the network as a whole.