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. For the complete press release please click here.

Recognizing the significant role nonprofits play in contributing to the overall quality of life in Northwest Arkansas, several organizations with the support of the Walmart Foundation have teamed up to create a program, called Achieving Capacity Together or ACT, that supports small nonprofits seeking to accelerate the development of their capacity to serve the community.

ACT Northwest Arkansas is comprised of the following organizations:


Through ACT, 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.


ACT is available to small and medium-sized nonprofits, defined as organizations at or under $1 million in operating income excluding in-kind donations and extraordinary income, and/or with fewer than six Full-Time-Equivalent employees.  Up to 15 organizations will be selected to participate through a competitive application process.

Some examples of organizations we are looking for are: Advocacy, Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Animal Related, Healthcare, Mental Health, Housing, Substance Abuse, Crisis Intervention, Employment, Hunger Relief, Public Safety, Youth Development, Human Services, Diversity & Inclusion and other organizations that meet our criteria.


The program consists of nine monthly sessions each lasting between four to six hours, depending upon the month’s topic.  Each session will be comprised of lecture, exercises and peer learning opportunities.  Click here for the expected session topics.


Session Topic/Focus Area Attendees Month
Pre-Work Organizational Assessment using OCAT Non-Profit Organizations August
Kick-Off Cohort Kick Off, Level Set, Life Cycle Assessment, Matrix Map Non-Profit Organizations staff and Board Concerrent Session October
Mission Vision, Values, Strategy Environmental Assessment Mission Vision, Values, Strategy Environmental Assessment Non-Profit Organizations staff and Board Concerrent Session November
Program Design and Evaluation Program Design and Evaluation Non-Profit Organziation staff December
Marketing and Development Communications, Storytelling and Fundraising Non-Profit Organizations staff and Board Concerrent Session January
Finances Financial Management, Cash Flow Management Non-Profit Organizations staff and Board Concerrent Session February
Managing People and Infrastructure Staff, Volunteers, Technology Non-Profit Organizations staff March
Enterprise Management and Leadership – Part 1 Enterprise Risk Non-Profit Organizations staff and Board Concerrent Session April
Enterprise Management and Leadership – Part 2 Leadership, Managing Change, Succession Planning Non-Profit Organization staff and Board Concerrent Session May
Celebration Project Presentations/ Graduation Non-Profit Staff (Board not required) June

In addition to monthly sessions, participants will break out into smaller groups to work on a project of their own choosing. 

To enhance the experience and ensure concepts introduced are being applied, each organization will have 20 hours of one-one-coaching with a capacity building coach for the duration of the program.  Coaches will be assigned in the second session.


The application and selection process for the 2017-18 program is now closed. Please check back in May 2018 for more information on the next application cycle.


Congratulations to the following organizations that were selected for the program:

  • Arkansas Crisis Center
  • Boys & Girls Club of Western Benton County
  • Compassion House
  • Dress for Success NWA
  • Good Samaritan Clinic
  • NWA Center for Sexual Assault
  • NWA Young Life
  • Seeds that Feed
  • Souls Harbor of NWA
  • Teen Action & Support Center
  • Trike Theatre

Each organization selected for participation must agree to the following:

  • Consistent, executive-level participation throughout the program, only one absence is allowed
  • Two staff participants at each session consisting of the Executive Director and one subject matter expert based upon the agenda for the session
  • At least one board member participating at the board member concurrent sessions
  • Participation in team cohort sessions
  • Confidentiality of all sessions
  • Board commitment to staff and board time invested in the program affirmed by signature on this application

For questions regarding the ACT NWA Cohort program, please email