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A New Vision For Comprehensive Capacity Building (A GEO special feature) | San Francisco

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 -
10:00am to 3:00pm PST
Northern California Grantmakers
160 Spear Street, Suite 360, San Francisco, CA 94105
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This workshop is at capacity. Please email to get on the waitlist.

Do the nonprofits you support have what they need to thrive and produce results? The nonprofit sector has consistently struggled with retaining strong staff, fundraising effectively and achieving long-term sustainability. Now, more than ever, funders need to ensure that nonprofits are strong enough to provide sustainable support to our most vulnerable communities.

We know that grantmakers can bolster nonprofit effectiveness and results by supporting capacity-building initiatives, thus ensuring their grantees have what they need to deliver on their missions over the long haul. As part of GEO and NCG’s partnership, we’re happy to offer this dynamic and comprehensive workshop, which tackles the essential questions that drive the design of effective capacity building support. Developed with information and insights gathered over many years of working with grantmakers on this topic, A New Vision for Comprehensive Capacity Building takes participants on a deep dive into understanding what matters most when it comes to building a successful capacity building program.

Join Us To:

In this session presented by GEO's Emily Wexler, Senior Manager, and Jessica Bearman, Principal, Bearman Consulting, we'll tackle the essential issues that drive the design of effective capacity building support. Some of the things we’ll experience together include:

  • the benefits of contextual, continuous, and collective capacity support;
  • examples of capacity building work underway in your region;
  • peer sharing about successes and challenges; and
  • how to learn from and continually improve capacity building support.

Supporting capacity building is one of the most important things grantmakers can do to accelerate and broaden our impact on grantees and communities. Join us for this a highly interactive half-day workshop to learn what it truly it takes build a capacity building program that supports nonprofit success.


Jessica Bearman, Principal, Bearman Consulting

Jessica Bearman works with foundations and other mission-based organizations, focusing on organization development, facilitation, and R&D to help them become more intentional, effective, and responsive to the communities that they serve. As a consultant and in her prior role as deputy director of New Ventures in Philanthropy, Jessica has written and spoken widely about new and established philanthropy. Her most recent Project Streamline publication: Practices That Matter, investigates the impact of grantmakers' application and reporting practices on nonprofits. She — or rather her alter-ego, "Dr. Streamline" — blogs regularly on funder practices and values. Prior to her work in philanthropy, Jessica spent nine years at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, an environmental nonprofit. She has an undergraduate degree from Brown University and a Masters in Organization Development from American University/National Training Laboratory. Jessica loves living in Idaho with her husband and two wild boys.

Emily Wexler, Senior Manager, Programs, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations  

Emily Wexler is a program manager on GEO’s program team. She previously served as a project specialist for the Scaling What Works initiative and has been with GEO since June 2011. In her current position Emily develops and delivers content for GEO peer learning, speaking engagements, publications and other programming.

Prior to joining GEO Emily received her master of public policy from Duke University’s Terry Sanford School of Public Policy. During her time at the Sanford School, Emily focused on the use of communities and research to design effective social policies and programs. In particular, she worked with the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation to provide strategy and analysis on building the capacity of North Carolina’s domestic violence and sexual assault agencies to successfully implement data collection tools.

Before she received her MPP, Emily worked as a community organizer and policy analyst in Vermont. In this role, she worked on issues ranging from childhood hunger to access to affordable health care. In particular, in her work with the People Improving Communities Through Organizing Network Emily collaborated with community leaders to conduct a public action to galvanize the state’s policymakers to protect critical components of the state’s social welfare program safety net.

Emily is an alumna of Princeton University’s Emerging Leaders Program and serves as a board volunteer with a housing first organization in Northeast Washington, D.C.

Targetted Audience:

This workshop is for NCG members and GEO members exclusively. GEO members, if you are not an NCG member, please email to register for this program. 
If you are not a GEO or NCG member and are interested in attending this workshop, please email If space is available, we will be happy to try to accommodate your request.