Sector Event: Reimagining Capacity Building: Navigating Culture, Systems & Power

Wednesday, February 16, 2022 -
1:30pm to 3:30pm EST
Virtual Meeting
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Presented by Philanthropy Massachusetts

Strengthening nonprofit organizations is an essential part of our work as grantmakers to ensure that nonprofits have the resources they need to address today’s most pressing concerns.  Indeed, the majority of staffed foundations — 86 percent — do just that, invest in organizational strengthening in areas such as leadership, fundraising, evaluation, communications and technology.

While capacity building is a critical part of our work, traditional models of capacity building tend not to account for culture, systems and power in their design, failing to keep equity centered in their approach. GEO’s latest publication, Reimagining Capacity Building, explores principles for centering equity in our capacity building efforts, explores the way inequities can show up within programs and offers steps we can take to address and mitigate those inequities. Join this interactive and engaging two-hour workshop to do a deeper dive into the practices highlighted in this resource, hear from grantmakers working to implement these concepts in their work and develop action steps you can apply to your capacity building efforts.


Participants will:

  • Learn the principles necessary to centering equity within capacity building efforts.
  • Hear from peers about the challenges and successes of embedding equity-centered principles within their capacity building practices.
  • Explore ways to mitigate inequitable capacity building practices and explore how to embed these practices into your work.
  • Develop individual action steps they can apply to their capacity building work after the workshop.

Featuring perspectives from:

Sarah Shugrue, Senior Program Officer, Greater Worcester Community Foundation

Jacquie Anderson, Senior Director of Grantmaking, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation


Nichole Hoeflich (she/her/hers) is a director of programs at Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. GEO is a diverse community of more than 450 grantmakers working to reshape the way philanthropy operates. The community is committed to advancing grantmaking practices that are community-drive and equity-centered to support thriving nonprofits and communities. As part of GEO’s program team, Nichole leads content planning and development for GEO conferences, remote learning opportunities, publications and other programming.

Before joining GEO, Nichole worked at the Center for American Progress as a Graduate Student Fellow on their K-12 Education Policy team. Prior to this, she taught high school social studies at Ivy Collegiate Academy, an international boarding school in Taichung City, Taiwan, where she also served as the dean of students and the social studies department chair.

Nichole earned her masters of science in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College and her bachelor of arts in history and education from Clarke University.

This session kicks off Philanthropy Massachusetts' 2022 Power & Equity series of programming.

For more information and to register, visit the event page.

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