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COMPASS Initiative® PoWER Forward








February 20, 2023 - April 3, 2023

Application Deadline Extended: Monday, April 3, 2023 at 11:59 PM EST

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

PoWER Forward is a 7-month intensive collaborative learning opportunity for organizations interested in developing sustainable community programs that are measurable, beneficial to the community, and intriguing to funders. During the institute, participants will cover an integrated curriculum that addresses the life of a community program from design to funding, and incorporates the necessary communication skills to engage with collaborators along the way. The intent of PoWER Forward is to help participating organizations learn how to:

  • Define the steps, from assessment to implementation, for developing an effective community program
  • Craft a winning grant proposal based on the elements of their community program components
  • Employ strategies for communicating with key collaborators before, during, and after the program and proposal life cycles
  • Seek appropriate funding opportunities from various types of funding agencies

Upon completion of PoWER Forward participants will have gained the skills to: (1) Develop an effective program framework including a solid work plan, project timeline, evaluation plan, and realistic budget; (2) Design and develop successful proposals that are logical, reasonable, and feasible to secure funding for the organization’s programs; and (3) effectively market the program to both funders and the community. 

PoWER Forward will consist of 14 virtual sessions, a two (2) day in person session, and individual coaching throughout the process. Virtual sessions are bi/tri monthly, every other Thursday morning from 9:00 pm to 12:00 pm EST. Individual coaching will take place in conjunction with sessions and the two (2) day in person session will take place in November. Expectations are to be available for class. If you cannot commit to this schedule, please do not complete an application.

Who Should Apply? PoWER Forward is intended for established organizations. Established organizations are organizations that are moderate in size, offer more than one program and/or service (Examples: testing, linkage, case management, resource and referral, etc.), 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 3 years of providing services, and at least 2 years of demonstrated experience in providing HIV/AIDS specific services.

Interested agencies must come to the institute with a program concept 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 phase.

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 ($10,000) 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 sessions, virtual and in-person. The same 2 people should also commit to participating in each coaching session.  Participants in PoWER Forward should consist of at least one programmatic leader and one staff person responsible for grant proposal development -  people who are responsible for planning, developing, or implementing programs within the organization.  Executive Directors,  development directors, program 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 or executive leadership that do not engage in the development, monitoring, or communication of programs/proposals.

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 $10,000, paid in 2 installments, 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.  

PoWER Forward Timeline: 2023 Cohort**
Application Due                                     March 20, 2023 
Notification of Acceptance                     April 10, 2023
Orientation Session                               April 24, 2023
Webinars Weekly                                  Thursdays, 9 am - 12 pm EST 
First Session
                                         May 4, 2023
Final (In-Person) Session                     December 14, 2023                
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 3, 2023  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.