Sutherland Edwards

Capacity Building

We draw on our nonprofit management expertise and deep knowledge of community philanthropy to build the capacity of organizations, including start-ups. We have worked with a number of start-ups on all aspects of launching an organization, from Board creation to staff policies to fee structures. Our capacity building services range from one-on-one executive coaching to advising teams of staff or Board members. Clients may contract with us for a small issue-specific project, or to provide comprehensive organizational development services.

We also have extensive experience designing and facilitating multi-year learning collaboratives. We bring leaders together to learn from one another and improve their practices, while also introducing them to panels of experts in the field who offer advice and provide coaching.


Client: A rural community foundation start-up

Our Work: Developed all organization policies, worked with the founding Board to create the first strategic plan, developed marketing materials, and trained both the Board and the new executive director.

Results: Foundation grew to $9 million in assets in just six years since its inception.


Client: Start-up community foundation

Our Work: Educated a founding Board and community leaders about the vital role of a community foundation Board, and provided in-depth Board training. Continued working closely with the Board for two years to guide them as operations began and the foundation grew. Developed a governance structure for the foundation, including all policies, documents and a Board manual.

Results: A new community foundation grew from an idea to a thriving and impactful philanthropic organization.


Client: A learning community of community foundation leaders

Our Work: Designed and facilitated three separate learning communities comprised of community foundation executives. Executive education focused on the discipline and practice of community leadership in the community foundation setting.

Results: More than thirty-six community foundations increased their capacity to provide community leadership in diverse regions nationwide.


Client: A large private foundation interested in building the capacity of community foundations statewide

Our Work: Designed and facilitated executive leadership training and peer learning for CEOs and Board members from nine community foundations. Over three years, provided structured learning on the core competencies of community foundations to accelerate participants’ growth and effectiveness.

Results: The cohort members not only increased their capacity, but also continued to grow at a faster rate than their peers in the field.

Sutherland~Edwards was pivotal to the successful creation and launch of the Bermuda Community Foundation. Their deep knowledge of the community foundation field and their superb facilitation skills helped us navigate every aspect of starting BCF, from board governance to a strategic plan to the staffing structure. I hope we have the opportunity to work with them again."

Peter Durhager,
Board Chairman
Bermuda Community Foundation

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