How We Can Help

The BEST Project provides resources for nonprofit management and organizational development for Genesee County agencies.  Below is a list of current programs and services available to nonprofit staff, volunteers and board members.

Nonprofit Management Information and Referral

Nonprofits need a trusted, go to source for nonprofit management information, tools and publications.

Looking for information about Executive Director Performance Evaluations?  Want to know more about legal filing requirements for your organization?  Need a sample Conflict of Interest Policy?  Visit the Resources and Tools section of the BEST website or contact Mary Bishop at BEST for assistance.  We can provide online links, publication recommendations and partner referrals for most nonprofit organizational development needs.

BEST does not provide assistance with establishing a 501c3 organization.  The Resources and Tools section does provide some links to useful links like Staying Legal if you are starting a new organization. 

Professional Development & Events

Professional Development for Community Impact

The BEST Project offers professional development workshops, peer learning sessions and other convening events throughout the year.  Professional development sessions are designed with content that participants can “take to action” and will enhance the skills and knowledge of nonprofit employees, board members, consultants, volunteers, and funders.  Peer learning is designed to formalize the opportunity for individuals to share the successes and challenges of sustaining a nonprofit organization.  Available topics include, but are not limited to: Leadership Development, Financial Management, Fundraising, , Strategic Alliances, and Technology as a Tool.  To learn more about upcoming sessions visit our Professional Development and Events calendar.   

Assessment

The assessment process is a change intervention and helps determine readiness and openness to learning

Any Genesee County nonprofit organization is eligible for BEST assessment services.  BEST offers a variety of tools that assess various aspects of the organization including governance, technology and marketing and communications.  In order to apply for a Technical Assistance Grant or Capacity Building Award, your organization must have recent and relevant assessment data.  The purpose of the assessment process is to collect data about the whole organization or the identified issue area and to understand the challenges or barriers to achieving maximum impact for the organization. 

Assessment is integral to the capacity building process—it separates facts from assumptions and provides a framework for all stakeholders (staff, board, volunteers) to have a common language around the issue area.  An assessment process requires transparency and openness to change and learning.  Assessments come in all shapes and sizes.  An in-depth, organizational assessment can take up to six months to complete and requires greater resources (money, staff time, etc.). 

The tools identified by the BEST Project for assessment purposes typically take two to three weeks to complete and receive an analysis of the results.  Following the completion of the assessment, BEST staff will meet with agency representatives to develop an Agency Action Plan (AAP) to address the issues surfaced through the assessment including work that requires an outside expert and steps the agency can take on its own. 

Next Step

Contact BEST staff to set-up an Assessment Consultation.  The Assessment Consultation is a 60-90 minute meeting with agency representatives and BEST staff to review the available assessment tools and related process.         

Technical Assistance Grants (<$5,000)

Agencies that have successfully completed an assessment process (through BEST or on their own) will be eligible to apply for a Technical Assistance Grant.  A maximum of $5,000 is available for projects aimed at increasing the capacity of the organization.  Technical Assistance Grant applications should address how the proposed project will increase organizational capacity in the given area as well as how changes will be maintained and sustained over time.  Example projects might include:  governance training; creating a case for support; technology upgrades; organizational planning; developing a website. For more information go to How We Can Help.

Next Step: 

  • If you HAVE NOT conducted an Assessment in the last 6 months contact BEST staff to set-up an Assessment Consultation.
  • If you HAVE conducted an Assessment in the last 6 months contact BEST staff to set-up a Technical Assistance Grant Consultation. 

Capacity Building Awards (>$10,000)

Agencies that have successfully completed Technical Assistance Grant projects and can demonstrate the organizational impact will be eligible for up to $10,000 in the form of a Capacity Building Award.  These awards will be competitive.  Example organizational change projects might include:  board development and governance planning; facility assessment or feasibility study; fund development planning and coaching; technology upgrades and training; financial management system review and changes; strategic alliance facilitation.        

Next Step: 

  • If you HAVE NOT conducted an Assessment in the last 6 months contact BEST staff to set-up an Assessment Consultation.
  • If you HAVE NOT received a Technical Assistance Grant contact BEST staff to set-up an Assessment Consultation.

If you HAVE completed a Technical Assistance Grant contact BEST staff to set-up a Capacity Building Award Consultation.