Toward a Stronger Nonprofit Sector

Toward a Stronger Nonprofit Sector cover image
Addressing Capacity Building Needs in Dane County 

Research done by Madison Community Foundation and UW-Madison Extension Dane County highlights key strategies that could help strengthen the local nonprofit sector. 

Nonprofit organizations have become an essential component of community wellbeing and play a critical role in addressing societal challenges here in Dane County. But how are nonprofits themselves sustained and strengthened?

In the past, nonprofit organizational capacity – strong leadership, sound finances, the ability to collaborate, and the development, execution, and evaluation of new strategies – was too often ignored or devalued by funders, donors and observers of the nonprofit sector. Despite increased attention and resources being devoted in recent years, critical capacity building resources are still lacking.

This paper identifies the most important needs and determine how funders, educational institutions and other organizations serving nonprofits could better contribute to stronger organizations and a stronger nonprofit sector.

See what we learned

Our research involved in-depth small group conversations with nonprofit leaders in each of MCF's grantmaking focus areas. If you would like additional details about specific dynamics within each of these areas, you can read our preliminary findings from each of those conversations: Arts & Culture; Community Development; Environment; and Out-of-School Time.

We would love to connect with you! Get our newsletters.