ACT of Northwest Arkansas | Small Nonprofits Achieving Capacity Together
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Capacity building is an investment in the effectiveness and future sustainability of a nonprofit.  When capacity building is successful, it strengthens a nonprofit’s ability to fulfill its mission over time, thereby enhancing its ability to have a positive impact on lives and communities.


Recognizing the significant role nonprofits play in contributing to the overall quality of life, several organizations have teamed up to create a program, called Achieving Capacity Together in Northwest Arkansas or ACTNWA. The goal of ACTNWA is to support nonprofits seeking to accelerate the development of their capacity to serve the community.


For the latest press release, click here.

ACTNWA Partners


Through ACTNWA, nonprofit organizations will have the opportunity to strengthen capabilities to create a more robust and relevant organization in an environment of continual change.  Working with peers, they will learn new tools that can be applied to the opportunities and challenges in the workplace, and they will build mutually beneficial relationships with other nonprofit leaders.


Remarks from the 2017 ACT I Cohort:


“ACTNWA has given us the resources to develop a plan, knowledge to know whether the plan is working, and has empowered us with confidence to make changes when needed.”


“While our agency has gained morsels of knowledge and insight from each and every session, our most important takeaway is our new bank of resources – the information and ideas we have gathered from the collective body of sessions…ACTNWA has been an absolute gift to supporting and growing our nonprofit.”


“When we first started attending the ACT cohort, we didn’t know what we didn’t know. Now we are leaving better equipped to sustain what we are passionate about.”


The next application cycle (ACT II) is available to small and medium-sized nonprofits, defined as organizations between $200,000 and $3 million in operating income, excluding in-kind donations and extraordinary income.


The focus of the 2018 ACT II Cohort will be on serving the “working poor.” The “working poor” are defined as individuals or head of households that have been in the labor force at least 27 weeks and have a household income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). ACTNWA recognizes the importance of mixed-income programs, so has not set a specific requirement for how many people with incomes below 200% FPL must be served for the nonprofit organization to be eligible.


Up to 10 organizations will be selected to participate through a competitive application process.


The yearlong program, which runs September thru August, consists of three primary components:

  • Pre-/post assessment utilizing the Organizational Capacity Assessment Tool (OCAT) developed by McKinsey & Company
  • Nine knowledge building sessions that occur monthly between October and June. The sessions are between four to six hours in length, depending upon the topics covered that month.  Each session will be comprised of lecture, exercises and peer-learning opportunities. The 2018-19 session dates and topics are listed below.
  • 15 hours of organizational coaching with an experienced capacity building coach




Session Topic/Focus Area Attendees
September 21, 2019

9:00 – 10;30

Organizational Assessment using OCAT Non-Profit Staff
October 19, 2019

9:00 – 1:00

Act II Cohort Kick Off Life Cycle Assessment, Matrix Map Non-Profit Organizations staff and Board Member(s)
November 16, 2019

9:00 – 1:00

Mission Vision, Values, Strategy Environmental Assessment Non-Profit Organizations staff and Board Member(s)
December 14, 2019

9:00 – 3:00

Program Design and Evaluation Non-Profit Organization staff
January 18, 2019

9:00 – 3:00

Communications, Storytelling and Fundraising Non-Profit Organizations staff and Board Member(s)
February 15, 2019

9:00 – 1:00

Financial Reporting, Cash Flow Management Non-Profit Organizations staff and Board Member(s)
March 15, 2019

9:00 – 1:00

Managing People, Infrastructure & Risk Non-Profit Organizations staff
April 19, 2019

9:00 – 3:00

Collaborative Spectrum Non-Profit Organizations staff and Board Member(s)
May 17, 2019

9:00 – 3:00

Leadership, Innovation, Managing Change, Succession Planning Non-Profit Organizations staff and Board Member(s)
June 21, 2019

9:00 – 12:00

Project Presentations/ Graduation Non-Profit Staff


The United Way of NWA will be presenting four Information Sessions on August 1 & 7, 2018 (9-10:30 and 3:00-4:30) for interested organizations to learn more about the ACTNWA program and application process. The sessions are the same, so you only need to attend one if interested. The Information Sessions will be held at the United Way office located at 100 Parkwood St, Lowell. To register for one of the sessions, click REGISTRATION FORM.


For more details on how to apply, download the 2018 ACT II Cohort Application Packet. The document includes program details, application format and questions, and a Glossary of Terms. The MS Word format allows you to draft your narrative responses, which you can then cut/paste into the online application. Note: You are highly encouraged to use the application packet as the limitations of the online application do not allow you to save your work and return. To download the application packet, click APPLICATION PACKET.


When you are ready to apply, complete the online application form by clicking APPLY NOW




The deadline to apply for the ACT II Cohort is Friday, August 17, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. noon CDT.

For questions regarding the ACTNWA program or application process, please email or

 contact Melody Timinsky at 479-303-4427.