Campion Foundation: Growing a Strong Nonprofit Sector

At Campion, capacity building isn’t just one of our strategies; it’s a vital and key component of everything that we do.

Achieving our mission requires Resilient Nonprofits: organizations with a strong vision, effective governance and leadership, robust fundraising, and sound operational systems.  These organizations are best positioned to make change happen.    We seek to leverage maximum impact from every dollar we grant by investing in our grantees to become this type of organization, and by investing in our own Capacity Building Program Officer to work directly with our grantees and the nonprofit sector as a whole.

Because our grantees don’t operate in isolation; they operate as part of a growing nonprofit sector, a sector where overhead and infrastructure is historically underfunded.  If we want to achieve our mission and for our grantees to achieve their program goals, we need to ensure that our grantees operate in a healthy nonprofit sector.  That means funders committed to, and investing in, the capacity of their grantees and the capacity of the sector; funders with an understanding of capacity building and of grantmaking that supports their grantees’ success; and nonprofits with access to high quality nonprofit support services.  So we invest, strategically, in building the philanthropic sector to meet the needs of nonprofits and in supporting a healthy nonprofit sector.

When we increase investments in capacity and infrastructure, we increase impact, we respond more effectively to opportunities and challenges, and we fulfill the potential of the sector.  We are proud to be a founding funder of Washington Nonprofits, working to develop a strong and sustainable statewide nonprofit association focused on strengthening the voice and capacity of the sector. 

Here are a few more of our strategies in action:

Grantmaking: In the often stressful, always busy, nonprofit sector, employees are key to the success of their organizations but developing new skills and keeping abreast of changes in the field can often be overlooked due to time and budget pressures.  We offer our existing grantees access to Professional Development Grants: small, quick turnaround grants to allow staff to attend conferences or trainings—anything which provides personal and professional growth opportunities.

Leveraging Resources/Building the Field:  We know we can achieve more if we work with others.  We are a founding member of the Statewide Capacity Collaborative, a funders collaborative working across Washington state to elevate the nonprofit sector through public policy and advocacy, ensure the availability of high quality capacity building services, invest in and strengthen nonprofit leadership, and leverage funding and issue area expertise into greater capacity building investments and impact.

Partnerships:  We are proud to collaborate with leaders in the field, including Independent Sector, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO), Grants Managers Network(GMN), Philanthropy NW, and BoardSource.

Our grantmaking is strategic, targeted and by invitation only.

Download our Capacity Building Program Strategic Plan.

What we fund:
Campion Foundation provides capacity building support to (1) existing grantees in our wilderness and homelessness program areas, and (2) capacity building grantees who are working across Washington to build the strength and resilience of the nonprofit sector. 



Capacity Resources

A Compelling Case to Make Advocacy a Part of Board Culture

A Donor Bill of Rights

About the Stand for Your Mission Campaign

ACT! Quick Advocacy Capacity Tool

Advocacy for Funders: The Legal Limitations of Lobbying

AFP Code of Ethical Principles and Standards

An Assessment of Capacity Building in Washington State

Assessing the How of Grantmaking

Being a Player

Bernard Ross' Case Framework

Beyond the Cause: The Art and Science of Advocacy

Blur the Lines, Sharpen the Work

Bold Giver Story

Building is not Buying

Capacity Building Guiding Principles

Case for Support Outline

Catalytic Philanthropy

Create a Philanthropic Culture in Your Nonprofit

Creating High-Impact Nonprofits

Development Program Activities

Donor Centered Fundraising

Due Diligence Done Well: a guide for grantmakers

Evaluating Your Development Plan: A Series of Dashboards for Tracking Progress

Everyday Advocacy Toolkit


Innovation Network

Investing in Change: Why Supporting Advocacy Makes Sense for Foundations

Leading With Intent 2015

Limitations on Political and Lobbying Activities of Charitable Organizations

Listen, Learn, Lead: Grantmaker Practices that Support Grantee Results

Major Gifts Survival Kit

Make a Difference for Your Cause

Make a Difference for Your Cause in Three Hours a Week

Nine Key Trends Affecting the Charitable Sector

Nonprofits in Washington 2014

Overhead Costs – The Obsession Must Stop

Project Streamline-Practices that Matter

Project Streamline-Practices that Matter

Public Policy Checklist

Resilient nonprofits

Resources for Foundations Funding and Supporting Advocacy

Smarter Grantmaking in Challenging Economic Times

So You Want to Build an Endowment?

Sonya's Reading List

Stand for Your Mission

Stand for Your Mission Discussion Guide

Stand For Your Mission Pushes Board Advocacy

Statewide Nonprofit Resource Directory

Systems Grantmaking Resource Guide

The Nonprofit Starvation Cycle

The ten most important things you can know about fundraising

Twelve Principles of Governance That Power Exceptional Boards

Washington State Leadership Scan

What is Advocacy?

Why Board Engagement in Advocacy Is Essential

WLIHA 2015 Bill and Budget Tracker

Building the Sector

Statewide Capacity Collaborative

Joining Forces to Strengthen Nonprofits Across Washington

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Strengthening Grantees

Washington Nonprofits

Strengthening the Nonprofit Sector in Washington State

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Photo courtesy Washington Nonprofits
Building Fundraising Muscle

Sonya's Catalytic Corner

Strategies and tactics to tone up your fundraising and build capacity.

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