Capacity-building programme with US-based nonprofit to enable unlocking of philanthropic funding across high need areas

Research shows that 92% of individuals are socially inclined in one way or the other.
Funding opportunities and capacity building programme

The three core focus areas that determine the level of social change and impact that they can have on society at large are primarily through Time, Money and Focus.

Client Brief

The client is a large United States based nonprofit organisation that leverages investments in solutions to the world’s biggest problems — from racial and gender equity to climate change. The organisation aims to accelerate social change by matching donors with problem solvers through customised challenges and tailored funding opportunities.

The client approached Sattva for executing a cohort-based, capacity-building programme for select members of the organisation’s network in India and the APAC region. The objective of the programme was to enable select members to unlock philanthropic funding to gain actionable knowledge, skills, and advisory support across high-need areas while building a network of peers. 

Sattva’s Approach

  1. Using an organisation-centric design approach, Sattva conducted a needs assessment exercise with the cohort members to better understand key challenges, and existing organisational priorities and thereby identify need areas. The needs assessment enabled us to identify six need areas for support, namely: a. Fundraising
  2. Marketing and communications
  3. Strategy and partnerships
  4. Organisational development and people management 
  5. Impact measurement
  6. Use of technology. 

Sattva then provided support across these need areas through one-to-many virtual workshops, one-to-one advisory sessions with functional experts, and networking sessions.

People and Expertise

  1. Team members from our NonProfit Advisory Unit, led by our Regional Head of the Americas anchored the project from design to execution.
  1. b. Our CEO and our MD  also facilitated workshops on fundraising and organisational strategy, respectively bringing in their leadership skill sets within these domains.
  1. Our Marketing Head facilitated workshops on Marketing and provided 1:1 advisory support on Marketing-related needs to the cohort participants.
  2. Sattva’s  Senior Engagement Manager and Senior Research Consultant from the Impact Measurement & Advisory team facilitated a workshop and provided 1:1 advisory support on impact assessment.

Beneficiary Profile

  1. Geography covered: Across India and the APAC region
  2. Sample Size/Scale: 16 NGOs and Social Enterprises (SEs)
  3. Relevant NGO sectors: NGOs and SEs from varied sectors, including Livelihoods and Skill Development, Healthcare, Education, Water and Sanitation, Environment, Cleantech, Child Rights
  4. Partners: We partnered with 18 experts across fundraising, partnership management, people management, and marketing and communications to facilitate workshops and provide bespoke 1:1 advisory support to the cohort.


After conducting the needs assessment, Sattva aligned the philosophy for designing and implementing the initiative. The core tenets of the design included:

  1. Focus on actionable support: The programme was designed to include a combination of one-to-many workshops, expert one-to-one advisory support, and supplementary networking opportunities. Focus on network building and peer learning: The diversity of the cohort created opportunities for enhanced learning for all those involved. As such, each session in the initiative was designed to create opportunities for organisations to share their experiences and learn from each other. Multiple networking sessions were also facilitated.
  2. Focus on unlocking philanthropic capital: In line with the client’s larger philosophy and based on the needs assessment, unlocking philanthropic capital was also integrated into the design through session topics, a range of speakers and communication channels to help build visibility for each organisation.
  3. Focus on continuous measurement: We regularly used assessment tools to monitor the programme’s effectiveness on a continuous basis and to integrate feedback into successive sessions with agility. This, along with an end of programme assessment, helped us document the successes and allowed us to keep improving the programme for new cohorts.

Key Learnings and Sattva’s Impact

The initiative met with success across the institutional, programme and individual participant levels. Key highlights included:

  1. Nearly 90% of respondents found the selection of topics and learning outcomes relevant to their institutional requirements
  2. 95% of respondents felt that the workshops helped them understand these core topics better, particularly across strategy, fundraising and marketing
  3. Nearly 90% of respondents felt that workshops gave them tangible takeaways, and enabled them in several functional areas across the organisation. Several programme participants narrated scenarios where they realised early wins and identified tangible ways to strengthen their institutional capacity across fundraising, marketing & communications, human resources, and leveraging data for decision making.
  4. 100% of participants that received 1:1 advisory support stated that they have made tangible progress against their institutional goals.

Here is what one of the participating organisations had to say:

“1:1 advisory support helped us understand the need to evolve our fundraising strategy from a central/ national level to a more district focussed approach. We are also drafting proposals using the CHAI-STIR-SIP framework for storytelling introduced in one of the workshops.”

Project Deliverables

The cohort-based capacity-building programme was delivered to 16 select member organisations across India and the APAC region. As a next step, Sattva Consulting and the client are continuing their engagements with select organisations towards further hands-on support. This engagement, which has spanned a period of 6-7 months, is enabling organisations to identify their strategic priorities, define actionable goals, and receive ongoing advisory and governance support. 

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