Grantee Capacity-Building

For Grantmakers

Scale up your impact

BDO FMA has extensive experience working with grantmakers to design and deliver programs to strengthen the financial and operational capacity of nonprofit organizations in their networks and communities. We believe that nonprofits rooted in a sound financial position that employ team-based decision-making and build strategic fiscal capacity will be better positioned for long-term financial resilience in support of their missions.

This belief was supported by the first third-party evaluation of our cohort work through a program with the Wallace Foundation in 2009. By early 2020, BDO FMA was working with dozens of grantmaking organizations to provide support in the areas of financial management and associated functions to hundreds of nonprofits across the country. Given today’s public health, economic, and political challenges, it is more critical than ever that nonprofit leaders build flexible and responsive infrastructures. We are here to help leaders prepare their organizations to not only endure, but flourish—even in times of uncertainty.

Three adults in conversation next to a window.
A peer group breakout of Executive Directors in a cohort run with the Packard Foundation.

The capacity building, training, and consulting services that consistently earn our team national recognition for their pragmatism and excellence are inspired by four principles: equity, responsive support, team-based approach, and for our cohort-based programs, peer exchange.

The overarching goal of BDO FMA’s capacity building is to help participants develop the strength and adaptability to navigate times of change and—ultimately—forge a path towards long-term financial sustainability. Desired outcomes are customized based on the specific program design and goals. Recent program outcomes have enabled leaders to increase their understanding of the organization’s business model; develop more confidence communicating the organization’s financial story; make financial decisions more data-based, inclusive and transparent; and develop short- and long-range planning skills.

Cohorts and Initiatives

We’ll work with you and your grantees to design a program to meet your goals.

Please note that we are currently delivering all cohort and initiative programs online using interactive meeting and webinar technology and other virtual learning and facilitation tools.


Our cohort-based model is grounded in proven benefits of group learning: leveraging participant experience and facilitating relationships within a network working toward common goals. Our essential cohort structure includes baseline assessment and analysis, a workshop series, and coaching between sessions to help each organization apply concepts to their unique situation.

Further organization-level supports will be determined based on your goals and could include deeper assessment, analysis, and action planning; and/or technical assistance projects through which we provide hands-on support ranging from annual budgeting to software selection and optimization. Peer learning sessions can also be included to enhance the peer exchange, networking, and community aspects of a program.

Key Elements of Cohorts

Interactive Training Series

One-on-one Support

Cross-functional Team Participation


We also build custom initiatives with grantmakers through which you can support a variety of needs across multiple organizations. While initiatives may include group components, these engagements emphasize meeting the unique capacity building needs of individual organizations over building a community of practice.

Examples of recent initiatives range from lighter-touch training and coaching programs focused on financial planning to large-scale capacity building funds in which participants receive customized hands-on support from BDO FMA on a wide variety of financial management improvements.

Potential Initiative Elements

Business Model Analysis

Sponsored CNAP training program


Grant or loan readiness support

Ready to help your grantees build their Fiscal Muscle?
hs - Kate Garroway_221x221
Kate Garroway