The Capacity Building Initiative is a three year, comprehensive program of the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network that provides support to watershed organizations and Riverkeepers through grants, one-on-one training, networking, and tailored technical assistance to increase the operational effectiveness of these organizations.
The Capacity Building Initiative (CBI) will be bolstered by the establishment of a new network of watershed organizations coordinated by the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network (CBFN). Goals of the program include:
Watershed organizations play a vital role in the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay by increasing awareness on issues, advocating sound policies, procuring resources for restoration, and implementing restoration and protection programs.
The focus of the Chesapeake Bay restoration and protection effort is becoming more and more localized. As the adoption of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requires the development of Watershed Implementation Plans by state and local governments, watershed groups are poised to play an even greater role in the Bay’s recovery.
Given their growing importance in efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and local rivers and streams, increased levels of financial and technical support to river and watershed organizations is imperative. The CBFN Capacity Building Initiative will provide grants and technical assistance to increase the effectiveness of organizations that protect and restore rivers and watersheds, increasing their power to advance local watershed protection priorities through collaborative strategies.
This program is provided through the generous support of the following CBFN members: Chesapeake Bay Trust, Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, Prince Charitable Trusts, and Rauch Foundation.
Who is eligible to participate?
The next phase of the initiative will invite the participation of watershed and river organizations from all Bay jurisdictions (VA, MD, DC, WV, PA, NY, and DE). Criteria described below and in the RFP will be used to evaluate proposals submitted to the Chesapeake Bay Trust on behalf of CBFN. CBFN anticipates 15–25 organizations will be selected to receive capacity building support for three years, with second and third year participation contingent upon available funding. To be eligible to participate in the Initiative, an organization must:
What if my organization does not meet the eligibility criteria?
CBFN is committed to offering capacity building support to as many organizations as possible. Whenever possible, any interested organization may participate in trainings and workshops offered through this initiative. CBFN also hopes to offer capacity building mini grants on an as needed basis if funds are available. More information about other forms of assistance will be shared through the Chesapeake Network as they are available.
What types of assistance will be provided?
CBFN will provide participating organizations with three forms of assistance:
Participating organizations will prioritize their capacity building needs through an organizational assessment. This will inform the development of an annual capacity building work plan. The work plans will identify how capacity building activities will increase the impact of the organization’s programs on the successful implementation of watershed action plans (or WIPs).
Examples include: strategic planning to prioritize programs, constituent/membership development in targeted regions/jurisdictions, program development assistance, enhancement of constituent management and organizing capacities, leadership and board development, assistance to assess programs and increase their effectiveness, and other activities to address high priority capacity building needs.
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