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COMPASS Initiative® PoWER Institute
Partners Working for Enhanced Results


PoWER Up for Organizational Success
May 7, 2021 - December 10, 2021

The Emory University COMPASS Coordinating Center
The Emory University COMPASS Coordinating Center (ECCC) supports organizational capacity building through grant making, organizational assessments and technical assistance, and evaluation. By starting with the data, using innovative mapping strategies to meet unmet needs, using technology to promote information sharing, and careful program evaluation and monitoring, the Emory Center intends to help impact HIV in the South by:

  • Improving access to high quality services
  • Building sustainable organizational capacity
  • Nurturing the development of organizations that are of the community and responsive to community needs
  • Leaving organizational partners stronger and more resilient as a result of shared work

PoWER Institute (Partners Working for Enhanced Results): PoWER Up for Organizational Success
The PoWER Institute’s “PoWER Up for Organizational Success” is a 8-month intensive collaborative learning opportunity for emerging organizations interested in enhancing their infrastructure.  Due to COVID-19, our collaborative learning opportunity has been adapted to a synchronous online format featuring a combination of web-based trainings (2x/month) and individualized consultations with a Capacity Building Coach (1-2x/month).  The intent of PoWER Up is to help participating organizations learn how to:

  • Assess areas in need of improvement within their organizations
  • Develop a work plan to address those concerns
  • Implement a change management strategy, and
  • Learn how to become a high-functioning organization.

PoWER Up will provide an overview of and an opportunity for organizations to review and enhance various areas of their  organization’s infrastructure, including the mission, vision and strategy guiding the organization, leadership and governance, internal operations including fiscal procedures, resource development and fundraising,  strategic relationships, service delivery and community impact, and communications. The key areas of focus include strategic planning, internal operations and fiscal management, leadership development including board development, change management, program planning, fund development and diversification, and sustainability.

Who Should Apply?
“Emerging Organizations” are organizations that are small to moderate in size with a budget of less than $500,000 and fewer than 20 employees, may be fairly new or established, but have room for growth and development to strengthen the organization’s infrastructure.  Organizations must have a 501(c)(3) status, or have a fiscal sponsor. 

Organizations interested in participating in the PoWER Institutes must demonstrate a commitment to improving the functioning of their organizations and have an interest in expanding services in areas that have minimal resources available to people living with or impacted by HIV.  Institutes will be offered 1-2 times each year in a different region within the following Southern states (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN or TX). Space is limited (up to six (6) organizations will be selected to participate), and a stipend ($20,000) will be available to organizations that are accepted. 

Each organization is required to send 2 members of their organization to participate. There should be a commitment to sending the same 2 people from the agency to participate in all in-person sessions. The same 2 people should also commit to participating in each coaching session.  Participants in PoWER Up should be leaders within their organizations – people who are able to make the identified changes revealed from the organizational assessment.  Executive Directors, department directors, board members, and managers are encouraged to apply and attend. These sessions are not intended for direct service staff without the engagement of a decision maker within the organization.

Organizations eligible to participate in the PoWER Institutes 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
  • Have an organization budget less than of leass than $500,000
  • 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.
  • Fully participate including attendance in online sessions 
  • Have the ability to participate in Zoom meetings (computer technology that will allow video and web conferencing with camera and sound)

Selected organizations will also be asked to host at least 1 focus group to conduct a SWOT analysis within the first 3 sessionsApplicants must have the ability to complete this task in order to participate in the institute.

Note:  Participation is MANDATORY for all scheduled coaching and web-based sessions in order to qualify for the final stipend payment.

Awarded participating organizations will receive $20,000 to support program costs, staff time, and the implementation of special projects and activities conducted throughout the institute related to implementing capacity building activities or enhancing organizational functioning.

  • Organizations will receive a $20,000 funding award paid in 3 installments. The final istallment will be paid at the completion of all scheduled and follow-up sessions.

PoWER Up Timeline: 2021 Cohort**
Application Due                                     April 9, 2021 
Applicant Interviews                              April 19-21, 2021

Notification of Acceptance                     April 23, 2021
Orientation Session                               May 7, 2021; 10am-12:30pm & 1:30pm-4pm EST
Webinars (monthly)                               Twice a month 
(May 7 & 21, June 4 & 18, July 9 & 23, Aug. 6 & 20, Sept. 10 & 24, Oct. 8 & 22, Nov. 12, Dec.10); 10am-1pm EST  
Final Session                                         December 10, 2021                      

Coaching Sessions                                As scheduled

**Attendace is mandatory. Please do not apply if you aren't available to attend the sessions.

Application Instructions
A complete application for the PoWER Institute includes: 

  • Application form (including Participating staff profiles)
  • 501(c)(3) Verification
  • Completed Organizational Assessment (upload a copy of the summary provided at the end of the assessment)
  • Commitments & Obligation Form

Applications should be completed ONLINE and submitted through the COMPASS Initiative® application portal. Required attachments should be uploaded in the appropriate place in the application. Applications received AFTER 11:59PM EST on April 9, 2021  WILL NOT BE REVIEWED or CONSIDERED for participation.


**Participation in the PoWER Up for Organizational Success does not guarantee successful award of additional COMPASS Initiative® funding, nor other grant opportunities.

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