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COMPASS Initiative® PoWER Forward








July 6, 2021 - Dec. 14, 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 Forward

The PoWER Institute’s “PoWER Forward” is a 5-month intensive collaborative learning opportunity for established organizations interested in strengthening the effectiveness of their programs, enhancing the fundability of grants, and developing and marketing effective communication campaigns. The intent of PoWER Forward is to help participating organizations learn how to:

  • Craft a concept into an effective program
  • Tell your program’s story, highlighting its unique and innovative approaches
  • Seek appropriate funding opportunities by writing winning grant proposals to various types of funding agencies, and
  • Learn how to market your program and increase visibility

PoWER Forward will consist of three phases which include program planning (7 weeks), grant writing (7 weeks), and strategic marketing (7 weeks). Interested agencies must have a concept of a program they are planning to implement, or have a program that was previously implemented but needs to be restructured and/or did not succeed in its initial launch. PoWER Forward will help participants gain the skills to develop an effective program; teach them how to develop a solid work plan, project timeline, evaluation plan, and realistic budget; design and develop successful proposals that are logical, reasonable, and feasible to secure funding for the organization’s programs; and effectively market the program to its intended audience. Due to COVID-19, our collaborative learning opportunity has been adapted to a synchronous online format featuring a combination of weekly web-based training and consultations with a Capacity Building Coach. Classes are once a week every Tuesday afternoon 2:30 pm to 5 pm EST with group coaching every Friday beginning in the second week of classes from 3 pm to 4 pm EST. 

Who Should Apply?
PoWER Forward is intended for established organizations.  Established organizations are organizations that are moderate in size, offer multiple programs and services, have established social media channels for the agency (website preferred but not required), with a budget of less than $1,000,000. Organizations must have a minimum of 2 years of providing services, and at least 1 year of demonstrated experience in providing HIV/AIDS specific services.

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.  

Organizations in the following Southern states are eligible to apply (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 Forward should consist of at least one leader and one programmatic staff person within their organizations – people who are responsible for planning, developing, or implementing programs within the organization.  Executive Directors, deputy directors, program managers, and program coordinators responsible for communications and program implementation are encouraged to apply and attend. These sessions are not intended for direct service staff without the engagement of a programmatic decision maker within the organization.

Organizations eligible to participate in the PoWER Institutes must also:

  • 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 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.
  • 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)

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, paid in 4 installments at the end of each phase, to support program costs, staff time, and the implementation of special projects and activities conducted throughout the institute, including capacity building activities or additional services and consultants.  The final installment will be paid at the completion of all scheduled and follow-up sessions.

PoWER Forward Timeline: 2021 Cohort**
Application Due                                     EXTENDED: May 31, 2021 
Notification of Acceptance                     June 22, 2021
Orientation Session                               TBD
Webinars                                               Weekly (Tuesdays, 2:30pm- 5pm EST) 
**There will be a break                          July 6, 13, 20, 27;
 in between each phase.                       August 8,10, 17, 31;
 (8/24 & 10/19)                                      September 7, 14, 21, 28;
                                                              October 5, 12, 26;                                                              
                                                              November 2, 9, 16, 30;  

                                                              December 7, 14;
Final Session                                         December 14, 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 May 31, 2021  WILL NOT BE REVIEWED or CONSIDERED for participation.


**Participation in the PoWER Forward 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.