Cohort-Based Capacity Building at FMA

FMA’s approach to cohort-based capacity building is informed by more than 15 years of experience helping nonprofit organizations of all kinds surmount their most trying financial challenges. For initiative-level work, we begin with a cohort-level engagement strategy to establish buy-in from individual organizations. We then develop individual relationships with an assessment of a client organization’s particular needs, then work with them to formulate a work plan for addressing those needs through a structured intervention that builds the skills necessary to implement the plan. Next, we provide follow-up as a partner in troubleshooting and executing the plan’s implementation.  And, finally, we take stock of what we have accomplished with a frank and transparent evaluation of the outcomes.


Skill to Pay the BillsA new study examines FMA’s work on a Wallace Foundation-sponsored initiative aimed at improving the financial management skills and practices of 25 Chicago afterschool providers through training and coaching. The report details two models for this professional development that we delivered and shows that each produced long-lasting improvements. Moreover, organizations receiving the less-expensive group training and coaching improved almost as much as those receiving more intensive customized coaching.

We’re exceedingly proud of this validation of our Strategic Financial Management Initiative, and we are thrilled to share it with you.  Click here to download the full report!   For a more concise summary of the work, you can download the Executive Summary here.

For a colorful story from the midst of the engagement, download Stories from the Field: Fiscal Fitness for Nonprofits

An exploratory study FMA conducted as the basis for the design of this initiative is available here: Administrative Management Capacity in Out-of-School Time Organizations

In the News

Are you interested in learning what others have to say? Read some of the coverage:

Would you like to be part of the discussion, or do you have a question about the study? Contact Andrew Schwalm at 212-931-9112 or