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Program Overview

The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) is launching a new capacity-building hub for statewide community-based organizations entitled Institute 2 Innovate (i2i). The i2i staff will help organizations strengthen infrastructure, increase sustainability, and address capacity needs. Cohort members will include local organizations that have yet to receive funding from the state of Illinois and ICJIA grantees with capacity constraints.

The National Council of Nonprofits has developed this comprehensive definition of nonprofit capacity building: “Capacity building is whatever is needed to bring a nonprofit to the next level of operational, programmatic, financial, or organizational maturity, so it may more effectively and efficiently advance its mission into the future. Capacity building is not a one-time effort to improve short-term effectiveness, but a continuous improvement strategy toward the creation of a sustainable and effective organization.”

Capacity building often gets overlooked or postponed in an organization’s drive to produce visible results. But this is a mistake, says the National Council of Nonprofits. “Capacity building is an investment in the effectiveness and future sustainability of a nonprofit,” the council says. “It strengthens a nonprofit’s ability to fulfill its mission over time, thereby enhancing the nonprofit’s ability to have a positive impact on lives and communities.”

i2i will provide support to “grassroots” organizations and community groups by strengthening their capacity in the following dimensions:

Capacity Building Services:

  • Vision and Impact
  • Governance and leadership
  • Program delivery
  • Resource generation
  • Internal operations and management
  • Evaluation and learning
  • Strategic relationships

Program History

Throughout the State of Illinois, thousands of organizations work directly with communities and individuals while struggling with capacity. Historical disinvestment continues to plague “grassroots” organizations, leaving them vulnerable and at risk of dissolving. These groups will benefit from additional support to address their fundamental challenges and organizational needs.

  i2i supports “grassroots” organizations and community groups committed to changing the circumstance of violence in their communities. i2i will be a resource for these partners to ensure that their capacity is increased and assist them on a path to sustainability.


Program Approach

The PARLOR Process is an evidenced-informed approach designed to address the comprehensive needs of organizations. Therefore, each PARLOR step will address specific needs to strengthen the organization's infrastructure.

  • Planning – Develop a mission, vision, and strategic plan
  • Administration – Establish board and executive staff
  • Resources – Create proven fiscal management and financial standards
  • Learning – Assess human capital/staff needs
  • Optimization – Develop protocols that assess effectiveness and program outcomes
  • Relationships – Expand external networks and connect with new partners

Program Organizations

The participating organizations will receive training (i.e., webinars, workshops, in-person consultation, etc.) on various topics to strengthen their organization's infrastructure.

  • CHM Bible Theatre Productions, Inc.
  • Equiticity
  • Metro East Organizing Coalition (MEOC)
  • National Youth Art Movement
  • Public Narrative
  • Reassemble Education & Training Inc (RETINC)
  • True Believers
  • Urban Male Network
  • Vision of Restoration