Many nonprofits have reframed their next chapters. Some had already embraced “capitalization” principles, or agile financial planning. They built cash reserves or retooled operations before COVID-19. Others improvised during the crisis, opening up fresh opportunities. The next few years will bring continued challenges. Inflation, a complex job market and shifting audience or donor dynamics will add additional pressures on nonprofits. They’ll also require necessary transformation and change.
This moment presents funders with additional ways to help nonprofits get stronger. While needs varied, several agencies wanted to continue experimentation or add new capacities to generate sustaining revenue. In response, the Foundation continued its operating and programmatic funding, while offering an additional boost of up to $75,000 through The Benter Re-Emergence Fund, or BReF.
This pilot program engages experienced consultants to support awardees as they develop deeper financial analysis and evaluation capabilities. Participants are creating a learning cohort, which should enrich opportunities for mutual support. The intention is to connect BReF activities to other local capitalization and capacity building initiatives. A formal, summative evaluation will chart the journey and lessons to be learned.
In 2022, grant partners were invited to propose ideas that altered business models, strengthened their balance sheets, or added capabilities for longer term sustainability. Eight grant partners were awarded funds to jumpstart their work.