Capacity Building

NNAAC maximizes the capabilities of our member organizations through our Capacity Building program, which provides organizational development services with the goal of strengthening and empowering member organizations to be more stable, well-managed nonprofit organizations. This program enables our member organizations to provide better services to their local communities. Strategies include extensive one-on-one technical assistance, trainings, and webinars.


Click on each link to learn more about the different offerings of NNAAC's Capacity Building Program for Arab American community-based organizations:  

Impacting Organizations
Capacity Building Grants
Leadership Scholarships
The Arab American Summit
Leadership Institute


NNAAC has a proven track record of successfully building the capacity of our 23 member organizations. Many of our members either began as smaller, start-up nonprofits when they joined NNAAC, or as growing nonprofit organizations. However, through capacity building assistance from NNAAC, our members have shown measurable growth regardless of their stage upon joining us, expanding their community services and becoming more financially stable.

For example, 77 percent of our members now report that they have a fundraising plan in place, compared to very few in 2006. Another 75 percent now report that they are creating and maintaining an annual plan for their organization.

The key to impacting our members through our program includes one-on-one technical assistance and training opportunities for members. NNAAC staff is well versed in an expanse of administrative tasks, including nonprofit management, fundraising, and board development. Our staff members make themselves available to members for in-depth, one-on-one consulting. NNAAC also provides non-members with limited consulting for reasonable fees.

In addition, NNAAC provides training opportunities in variety of areas including social media, board development, major gifts, and earned income, among many others, through regular webinars. Webinars are open to the public. A schedule of the upcoming webinars can be viewed here.

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As a member of the Network, organizations have the opportunity each year to apply for a capacity building grant and, if awarded, may receive up to $7,000 from NNAAC to address a specific challenge they are facing. Professional development scholarships are also available to provide funds that allow representatives of NNAAC member organizations to attend local and regional trainings and conferences.

Some recent highlights of the Capacity Building Grants NNAAC awarded include:

The 2014 grants were recently awarded. Congratulations to this year’s recipients of NNAAC’s capacity building grants!

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NNAAC also offers a scholarship fund that allows members to attend trainings or conferences they would otherwise not have access to, and a small re-granting process that provides direct capacity building support.

Some recent highlights of the Leadership Scholarships include:

  • The Arab American Heritage Council in Flint, Michigan received a scholarship to support staff training in immigration services
  • The Arab American Cultural and Community Center in Houston received a scholarship to attend grant writing training
  • The Center for Arabic Culture in Boston received a scholarship to participate in a webinar on strategic plan implementation
  • A number of member organizations received scholarships to send additional representatives to the NNAAC national conference

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The Arab American Summit, the National Network for Arab American Communities’ (NNAAC) biennial conference on Arab American issues, will convene leaders, advocates, students and allies from across the country on Nov. 7 to 8, 2015 in Dearborn, Mich.

This year’s theme, From Marginalized to Organized, symbolizes the incredible journey of our community. We will honor the amazing work that has been done to build community strength, while working together to advance an agenda for social justice and community change.

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On opposite years of the National Conference, NNAAC hosts a Leadership Institute, which provides members an in-depth training on particular areas of self-identified needs.

This year’s event will be hosted in November by NNAAC member the Alif Institute in Atlanta, GA. This annual event will be a particularly special one as it will wrap-up NNAAC's year-long celebration of its tenth anniversary. This year's theme is "Strategic Planning," including workshops that will feature topics related to "Strategic Communications." 

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