Capacity-Building and Leadership Investment Program

Capacity-Building and Leadership Investment Fund

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Contribute to SVCF’s Capacity-Building and Leadership Investment Program

The Capacity-Building and Leadership Investment program is a year-round grantmaking fund that invests in the effectiveness and sustainability of nonprofit organizations serving San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Organizations seeking to apply should have a clear focus on equity and racial justice and a process to integrate community voice into their work. Priority will be given to organizations with annual budgets under $1 million that are led by Black, Indigenous or other leaders of color, and to allied organizations.

The program was designed and shaped by lessons learned from prior SVCF capacity-building efforts such as the Community Leadership Program and the Nonprofit Investment Program. Some of these lessons include:

  • Capacity and leadership support for nonprofit organizations is most effective when it can be customized to address self-identified priorities.
  • Sustainability must be a program goal to ensure nonprofits are able to continue serving our communities through challenges like uncertain economic or political cycles
  • General operating support is a critical component in facilitating capacity and leadership development.  

The program will fund four types of activities:

  1. Organizations that have capacity and leadership needs
  2. Organizations that support capacity and leadership of nonprofits or nonprofit coalitions
  3. Capacity and leadership priorities of Community Catalyst Cohorts, which are groups of grantees from SVCF’s Community Catalyst Fund
  4. General education experiences which focus on racial equity, social justice, community-building and power-building (e.g., workshops that help raise awareness of implicit bias within organizations, or workshops that assist organizations in developing their advocacy work)


Before submitting your application please review the application questions, FAQs and information on how to submit a competitive application. If you would like to meet with the Capacity-Building and Leadership Investment team, please email


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