The Evolution of the Partnership for Prince George’s County

In 2008, The Community Foundation in Prince George’s County in collaboration with the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers united 25 donors and funders in the region to create the Partnership for Prince George’s County, a strategic initiative designed to strengthen the sustainability of local nonprofit organizations. Over the next seven years, the Partnership provided capacity building support and leadership training to over 500 local nonprofits. As a result, organizations reported that their boards were more committed to organizational goals, their programs more closely aligned with community needs, and their leaders formed new, meaningful partnerships with local and regional entities.

After a successful evaluation and strategic planning process, the Partnership recognizes that the capacity building landscape and services are constantly evolving. In addition, the funding landscape is transitioning to concentrate more general operating support for effective and impactful nonprofit partners. In keeping with this trend, the Partnership will transition out of direct management of capacity-building programs beginning in the fall of 2015. Moving forward, The Community Foundation will focus exclusively on one of the Partnership’s original goals: philanthropy. This will allow The Community Foundation to raise its commitment to expand the resource base for nonprofits in Prince George’s County and subsequently, help to ensure that critical programs and services are available for residents.

On Thursday, September 10th, The Community Foundation will host a Nonprofit Symposium to share the outcomes and lessons learned from the Partnership for Prince George’s County. The forum will also explore new relationship models that will help nonprofit organizations guarantee sustainability and economies of scale.

While the Community Foundation was able to accomplish many of the Partnership’s goals, much more work remains to be done. “We continue to receive far more requests than we are able to fund.” shares Desiree Griffin-Moore, Executive Director of the Community Foundation in Prince George’s County. “In addition, we know capacity building is a core component of a nonprofit’s ability to operate successfully. As we raise funds, we will emphasize the need for general operating support as a way to strengthen the capacity of nonprofits to operate effective programs.”

The Community Foundation is already working to encourage more investments for nonprofits through our latest initiative, Sharing Prince George’s County. With the support of donors from all around the County, we have streamlined our grantmaking to allow nonprofits to apply for funding from multiple sources through a single proposal. As part of this process, we are connecting donors and funders to nonprofits through a series of site visits to see programs in action. Ultimately, Sharing Prince George’s County will provide an opportunity for donors and funders to leverage investments strategically for greater community impact.

The Community Foundation in Prince George’s County would like to acknowledge the continuous support of the Partnership for Prince George’s County’s supporting partners including The Consumer Health Foundation, The Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, and The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers.