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COMPASS Initiative® Capacity Building Grant


Capacity Building Grant

The Emory University COMPASS Coordinating Center offers Capacity Building Grants up to $25,000. These grants support activities which focused on reaching the next level in operational, programmatic, financial, or organizational growth.

Grant proposals must be related to building organizational capacity in one of the following areas:
(1) Governance and leadership
(2) Mission, values, and strategy
(3) Finance and administration
(4) Resource development
(5) Strategic relationships/coalition building
(6) Communications
(7) Internal management and operations
(8) Service delivery and impact

Priority will be given to grant proposals in the following focus areas:

  • Organizing and mobilizing
  • Internal management and operations
  • Communications

Examples of fundable proposals in these focus areas include but are not limited to: developing organizing and mobilizing strategies to train and provide tools to the community to solve a problem, developing a human resources plan, documenting agency policies and procedures, staff training, systems updates, developing a communications plan, developing a marketing strategy, etc.

Organizations must plan and prepare for 2 hours of Capacity Building per month with 1 hour dedicated to coaching sessions and 1 hour dedicated to online training.

Capacity Building Grant Timeline: 2023 Cohort

Application Opens January 23, 2023
Application Closes February 20, 2023
Notice of Award March 03, 2023
Orientation March 21, 2023
Projects Begins April 01, 2023
Projects Ends October 31, 2023
Final Reports Due November 2023

Applicant must be able to complete proposed activities within the seven (7) month project period beginning April 01, 2023 and ending October 31, 2023. The project period will be organized as follows:

  • Pre-planning – April 01, 2023 to May 31, 2023
    • Meetings with Project Officer and Coach
    • Work plan and budget review/revisions with coach
    • Revisions due by the end of pre-planning
    • Capacity building training
  • Implementation – June 01, 2023 to September 30, 2023
    • Monthly meetings with coach
    • Bi-monthly meetings with Project Officer
    • Capacity building training
    • Progress and Budget Reporting
  • Closeout – October 01, 2023 to October 31, 2023
    • Close-out meeting with coach
    • Close-out meeting with Project Officer
    • Planning for close-out reporting

Progress reports and budget reports will be required throughout the project period and final reports will be required upon completion.

Proposal Requirements

  • Proposals must have the support of the organization's leadership.
  • Proposals must demonstrate how the organization will:
    • expand capacity to better carry out their mission and vision
    • strengthen organizational sustainability
    • build capacity to better serve their community
  • Proposed activities must:
    • be consistent with the proposed budget
    • be achievable by October 31, 2023
  • Proposals cannot:
    • be used to fund endowments, fundraising events, or sponsorship activities
    • contain programmatic services; however, they may be used to develop programming
    • include items currently covered by other funding resources

Organization Eligibility

Organizations eligible to participate in the Capacity Building Grant must:

  • be an AIDS Service Organization, a CBO that prioritizes HIV/AIDS prevention or care services, or is a CBO with a substantial budgetary investment in HIV related programming
  • be located in and doing work within the following 12 Southern states: AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN or TX
  • be a non-profit, tax-exempt organization as set forth in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Applicants that do not hold 501(c)(3) status must have a fiscal sponsor to apply.
  • be an organization with a minimum of 2 years of providing services, and at least 1 year of demonstrated experience in providing HIV/AIDS specific services.
  • attend and fully participate in online sessions and meetings
  • have the ability to attend required monthly meetings via Zoom with assigned Project Officer and Coach

Note: Organizations that do not meet these eligibility requirements are INELIGIBLE for funding.

Prohibited Expenses

  • Medications or purchasing of medications;
  • Direct medical expenses, including labs;
  • Existing deficits;
  • Basic biomedical research, clinical research, or clinical trials;
  • Projects that directly influence or advance Gilead Science, Inc.’s business, including purchase, utilization, prescribing, formulary position, pricing, reimbursement, referral, recommendation, or payment for products;
  • Individuals, individual health care providers, or physician group practices;
  • Events or programs that have already occurred; and
  • Government lobbying activities.

Unallowable Activities

  • Projects that focus on or include pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP);
  • Procedures or policies that exclude community members from receiving adequate and efficient health care, safe shelter, advocacy services, counseling, and other assistance based on their actual or perceived sex, age, immigration status, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental health condition, physical health condition, criminal record, work in the sex industry, or the age and/or gender of their children;
  • Procedures or policies that compromise the confidentiality of information and/or privacy of persons being served at or by the applying organization/individual;
  • Project designs and budgets that fail to account for the access needs of individuals with disabilities, with limited English proficiency, or who are deaf or hard of hearing;
  • Projects that place a criterion or requirement for community members to access services;
  • Project activities that promote or create an unsafe, uncomfortable, or counter-productive work environment;
  • Project activities that exclude staff that are representative of the community members being targeted through this grant project from serving in leadership or advisory capacity;
  • Grant funds may not be used to provide legal representation in civil and criminal matters, such as family law cases (divorce, custody, visitation, and child support), housing cases, consumer law cases, and other legal cases.

Submitting a Complete Application

A complete Capacity Building Grant application includes the following:

  1. Completed Application form
  2. Project Narrative
  3. Project Workplan
  4. Organizational operating budget
  5. Project Budget 
  6. 501(c)(3) verification OR letter from a fiscal sponsor 
  7. Proof of completion of the Non-Profit Organizational Capacity Building Assessment (more information provided in the application)
  8. Commitment Form signed by organizational leadership

Completed proposals are due via the COMPASS Initiative® application portal by 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time, Monday, February 20, 2023. Required attachments should be uploaded in the appropriate sections of the application. Applications must be completed and received by the deadline to be considered. Late applications will not be accepted. We strongly encourage completing the application early to allow for unforeseen technical difficulties.

Please return to the Home page to apply for this funding opportunity.