Capacity Building Bulletin Newsletter

Welcome to the Capacity Building Bulletin, a newsletter and recap of BLDG Memphis' Capacity Building initiatives!

BLDG Memphis Restructures Capacity Building Programs

Capacity Building is everything necessary to enable a Community Development Corporation to reach its goals. This includes but is not limited to staff development, fundraising, strategic planning, board development and program development. Our Capacity Building goals and programs for 2022 are based on the feedback from recent listening-and-learning meetings we held with our member CDCs and the 2021 CDC Capacity Building Industry Report. Based on what we learned from this information, some of our goals are to help increase the number of member CDCs with fundraising plans, grant applications, strategic plans and engagement with local officials. We are continuing to administer our our Community Assessment Tool (CAT) to our member CDCs and working with them to develop a customized work plan to assist them in reaching their goals. Click here for more information on our 2022 goals and programs.

BLDG Memphis Kicks Off Community Navigator Pilot Program

BLDG Memphis, in association with the U.S. Small Business Administration, kicked off its two-year Community Navigator Pilot Program in Memphis. BLDG Memphis will support seven community development corporations, which will operate as Spokes, across Memphis and deliver tailored curriculum to support small businesses specifically owned by women, veterans and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. As the Hub, BLDG Memphis will strategically convene, provide technical assistance and facilitate support to CDCs and partners. Read more about the CNPP program here.

BLDG Memphis Hosts Grant Writing for CDCs

According to the CDC Capacity Building Industry Report, there were a low number of Community Development Corporations taking advantage of Grant funds at the local and state level. BLDG Memphis invited Kim Cherry of Cherry and Company Public Relations to host a grant writing workshop for our member CDCs. Cherry covered a wide variety of topics on grant writing including what exactly is a grant, where do they come from, how to put together a grant proposal, what the process entails if awarded a grant and where to look for the grant funds. After the workshop, our members were invited to apply for one-on-one technical assistance to work with Cherry on applying for Grants for their CDCs. Our goal at BLDG Memphis is to help our CDCs find the assistance they need to apply for grants and other methods of funding for their organizations.

BLDG Memphis Hopes to Increase Fundraising for CDCs

While meeting with our member CDCs, many of them expressed interest in cultivating a fundraising plan for their organizations. BLDG Memphis invited Bridget Ciaramitro and Geordy Wells to speak with our CDCs on how to fundraise and put together a fundraising plan. Ciaramitro and Wells have worked in non-profit for many years and two years ago teamed together to help non-profit organizations with their fundraising initiatives. Ciaramitro and Wells offered numerous tips on how to how to plan to ask for money, the most important being developing relationships with your donors and motivating your board and volunteers to fundraise. They also explained the practical steps organizations should follow to fundraise including making a fundraising calendar. Member CDCs could also apply for one-on-one technical assistance to create their organization's fundraising plan. It is our goal that more CDCs will develop a fundraising plan and have success in their asks.

Looking Ahead... Are You a Member?

BLDG Memphis is excited to continue working with our Spokes in our Community Navigator Pilot Program by giving them the assistance they need to engage in reviving and attracting small businesses to their neighborhoods. We are also looking forward to continuing our workshops and Lunch and Learn series on topics including staff development, community outreach, the Community Reinvestment Act and more. Our capacity building programs are only open to paid BLDG Memphis members, so if you are not a member and are interested in joining BLDG Memphis, click here. We would love to have you!

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