Strengthening the Capabilities of Nonprofits

Oct182016
Through targeted “capacity building” efforts, nonprofits learn how they can improve their internal operations and public impact, ultimately benefitting communities where Applied Materials employees work and live.

The nature of any nonprofit is to primarily focus on the most urgent demands of fundraising and key programs, inadvertently placing other important capacities like organizational development, efficiencies and sustainability in the backseat. According to Mission Capital’s report, ‘On the Verge: Value and Vulnerability of Austin’s Nonprofit Sector’, a survey of Central Texas nonprofits revealed that, “while nonprofits are indeed a powerful force for good in our community, many organizations are struggling with key organizational components: overall strategy, leadership, board engagement, fundraising capacity and financial stability.” Mission Capital believes it is critical for nonprofits to address these challenges to strengthen their effectiveness and ability to deliver on their mission. Understanding these challenges, the Applied Materials Foundation has aligned with key partners to boost the impact of nonprofits.

For example, in Santa Clara, California, the Foundation supports SVCreates, an organization that promotes Silicon Valley arts and culture. Earlier this year, SVCreates hosted several capacity-building events including ‘Engage(dot)Next 3.0,’ a conference focused on audience development and social media, and ‘Board Development: Stronger, Smarter, Strategic,’ which offered sessions on topics including board recruitment, fundraising, strategic thinking and engaging with an artistic mission.

The Foundation is also a proud supporter of Board Match Silicon Valley - a networking event providing nonprofit organizations an opportunity to meet with highly qualified board candidates from major employers. Last year, three Applied employees joined a nonprofit board as a result of the event.

In Austin, Texas, the Foundation regularly partners with Mission Capital to host the annual Advancement Academy. This year more than 30 local nonprofit partners gathered to learn best known methods for more effectively using data and research in their operations. Past Academies worked to improve organizational practices like board development, strategic partnerships and project management.

In Kalispell, Montana, the Foundation partnered with Flathead Valley Community College on an in-depth assessment of 38 area nonprofits to identify areas for development, resulting in the creation of new courses to address the largest gaps.

And at the upcoming Americans for the Arts Conference in Austin this November, approximately 600 nonprofit representatives focusing on the arts will be exposed to leading-edge education covering marketing, social media, audience engagement and revenue generation.

Applied’s comprehensive approach to nonprofit support focuses on long-term solutions. By investing in strategic programs and strengthening nonprofit effectiveness, our communities can meet immediate needs, while building  sustainable nonprofit organizations with lasting effects for a better tomorrow.