What We’re Reading – Capacity Building

Reimagining Capacity Building: Navigating Culture, Systems, & Power by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations

“Capacity-building efforts generally focus on strengthening individual leaders or organizations, yet no one person or organization can solve today’s most pressing challenges. Increasingly, capacity builders who center racial equity are thinking more deeply about network and field capacity. By taking a systems approach, one that recognizes the value of collective power, capacity builders can help develop a complementary set of capacities within a network that goes beyond that of any one organization and is, thus, more closely aligned with a fieldwide mission..”


“For me, this excerpt reinforces how important it is for grantmakers and capacity builders to lean into their highest-value roles and most important responsibilities as members of a collective working towards shared goals and objectives. At College Futures, we recognize that we are actors taking part in a multi-faceted movement, working to advance greater social and economic mobility for California’s diverse learners who are underserved by public higher education. As a strategic, statewide foundation focused on enabling systems change, we are positioned to see the field of higher education equity and student success as a whole, understanding that it exists within a larger context. Along with this vantage point and recognition that we are a part of that larger context, comes the responsibility of setting priorities and investments that align with our values, take best advantage of roles we are suited to play and resources we can deploy, are responsive to what the field seeks, and serve to drive the entire movement forward,” says Elizabeth González, Ph.D., chief program & strategy officer (pictured right) for College Futures Foundation.

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