The Lab Capacity Building Program


The Lab Capacity Building Program provides a hub for established and emerging leaders from local nonprofits to innovate and problem-solve. The seven-month program’s curriculum is a rigorous undertaking for cohort participants: Each month, participants attend regular, guided sessions to identify and address a specific challenge that has stymied their organization’s ability to increase its community impact.

Learn more about The Lab

The Lab is coordinated through a partnership between the Foundation and Third Plateau Social Impact Strategies. It is offered at no-cost to the nonprofit leaders who participate.

This grant opportunity is closed.

Please note that the requirements articulated below were developed for a previous round of the grant opportunity. Details for future rounds may differ.

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  • The Lab is a seven-month leadership program intended to accelerate new ideas in the social sector, build nonprofit innovation skills and capacity, and strengthen and support nonprofit leaders so that local communities benefit and thrive.
  • An established leader (typically the Executive Director) and an emerging leader from each participating organization bring with them a challenge that has stymied their organization’s ability to increase its impact, and work collaboratively during the span of the program to resolve it.


  • At monthly facilitated sessions, the leaders from participating nonprofits help each other identify and pursue actions to bring their ideas to reality.
  • In addition, Executive Directors from the participating nonprofits receive one-on-one coaching to help process what they learn and determine how to apply it throughout their organizations.
  • Between sessions, participants put their plans into action. This allows the participants opportunities to test ideas, better understand their target audience, and gather feedback.

The Lab is designed for organizations that:

  • Can have their Executive Director and one emerging leader participate fully, and both leaders are resolved to commit the time and resources required to attend all sessions of The Lab and an additional 4-8 hours of work between sessions;
  • Are ready to take risks, build connections, innovate, and iterate; 
  • Have committed staff members who are open to change and believe that capacity building will further their agency's mission;
  • Have a Board of Directors that recognizes the need for training/program enhancement; and
  • Have tax exempt status under section 501(c)(3) and are located in the four-county greater Sacramento region (El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, and Yolo counties).

Please visit the link below to view the recording and slides from the info session held on February 23, 2022. 


powerpoint slides

All meetings of The Lab's 2022 cohort will be held virtually with some opportunities in between sessions to meet in-person if it is safe to do so. Due to time limitations, the dates below are non-negotiable and applicants who make it to the interview stage must be available for interviews as scheduled.



Application Launch

February 7

Informational Webinar  

February 23 at 2 p.m. (View)

Application Deadline

March 21 at 5 p.m.

Applicant Interviews

March 24 to April 7

Cohort Announcement

April 11

Cohort Events & Monthly Sessions

April to November 2022

You can download the full calendar here

Applications to The Lab Capacity Building Program are now closed.

For questions about The Lab program, contact Monica Haulman, Program Manager, Impact Strategies, at