Initiative Helps Grassroots Organizations Fulfill Mission

Before we bid farewell to an eventful year dominated by the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, our Health Forward associates take a look back at significant events and projects and share their insights about the year 2013.

On day nine of our year in review, Health Forward Program Officer Liana Riesinger updates us on the recently completed Capacity Building Learning Consortium, tailored for small organizations.

Health Forward is dedicated to supporting all sizes of organizations. We appreciate and see great value in the role that smaller, grassroots organizations play a role in helping to eliminate barriers and promote quality health in our communities. With that in mind, Health Forward introduced the Capacity Building Learning Consortium, a technical assistance initiative that seeks to assist organizations in becoming more capable of fulfilling their missions. As the Health Forward lead for this cohort, we wanted to design an opportunity to help support organizations with annual operating budgets at or below $500,000.

The first cohort launched in the fall of 2012 and recently wrapped up. It brought together 12 nonprofits from across Health Forward’s six county service area to examine capacity areas including organization purpose, program development, staff capacity, financial management, board governance and resource development. The organizations selected received overviews on these topics from content experts, hands-on exercises and group reflection.

Before the first session participants completed an organizational self-assessment pre-test in 12 capacity areas. When the cohort ended this fall we asked participants to also complete a post-test to determine progress in each of the areas. In addition, they also completed a sustainability plan that addressed the top two to three capacity areas for development over the next 12 months.

Here is what participants had to say:

“Because I participated in the consortium I am now able to…

I commend these organizations for taking the time to do the hard work necessary to build their capacity to better deliver services to our communities. We are excited to offer this opportunity again in 2014 to nonprofit organizations. Recruitment for the second cohort of the Learning Consortium will begin soon. If you know of an organization that may be interested in applying, or if your organization is interested please contact Liana Riesinger at (816) 241-7006 for more information.


Health Forward Foundation
2300 Main Street, Suite 304
Kansas City, MO 64108
(816) 241-7006