Capacity Building: Central Florida

About the Program

The DeVos Family Foundation, in partnership with the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland, is pleased to announce Capacity Building: Central Florida, a two-year technical assistance and strategic planning intensive for up to 20 non-profit arts and cultural organizations throughout Central Florida in Orange, Lake, Osceola, and Seminole counties.

The program will begin in March 2024, and is fully underwritten by the DeVos Family Foundation.

The arts and culture sector is changing rapidly, but certain fundamentals remain: all organizations require highly distinctive programming, vigorous marketing campaigns, strong boards, and a robust family of donors, members, and funders.

These essentials, however obvious, can be difficult to assemble and maintain.

This is the key role of this program: to assist participating organizations in their efforts to develop consensus on mission, vision, and values and to put in place simple, effective, and right-sized strategies to execute in each of these essential areas of practice.

Program Components

Capacity Building: Central Florida will:

  • Provide six in-person training intensives for executive staffs and board leadership
  • Engage each participating organization in a six-month strategic planning process that will result in a tailored, five-year strategic plan
  • Provide four months of subsequent implementation support
  • Host a philanthropy roundtable discussion between program participants and both national and local stewards of development


This opportunity is open to non-profit cultural organizations in Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties. In addition to completing an online application, applicants must:

  • Provide a statement of compelling rationale for involvement
  • Provide a signed commitment by executive, artistic, and board leadership (or equivalent)
  • Provide the previous year’s audited financial statements
  • Be able to provide evidence of at least three years of operation and programming
  • Employ at least one permanent staff member (or part-time equivalents)
  • Have an annual operating budget of at least $100,000, including in-kind contributions

If your organization is not currently prepared to embark on a strategic planning process, or is not eligible to participate in the capacity building program, a three-part training series with Institute Chairman Michael M. Kaiser will be offered in 2025. If you would like to apply for this series, we invite you to complete and submit this form to receive an application in due course. 

Time Commitments

The program estimates approximately 60 hours from each core participant over the 2-year period. However, participation will vary according to the role of each attendee.

  • Training and strategic planning participation typically includes three representatives – executive, artistic, and board leadership (or equivalent). Here we estimate approximately 60 hours over the 2-year period. This includes attendance at the group intensives, roundtables, and strategic planning meetings. It also includes preparation time between intensives and strategic planning meetings, as well as time spent on implementation calls.
  • Strategic planning participation will include additional staff, board, and key stakeholders – any “voices” essential to the long-term development of the organization. This time commitment is approximately 15-20 hours over six months.

Application and Selection Process

Successful applicants will be selected through a broad-based process that assesses goals, financial status, artistic plans, and commitment to the program. The DeVos Institute and the DeVos Family Foundation will prioritize assembling a cohort of dynamic, diverse arts organizations committed to building capacity through the program.

To apply, please click HERE. Applications are due Thursday, December 21. Participants will be notified by January 24, 2024.

Information Session

An Information Session took place on Thursday, December 7 from 10:00 – 11:00 am. Led by Institute Chairman Michael M. Kaiser, this session provided an overview of the program and responded to questions potential applicants.

The session was recorded, and the recording is available to review on the top right of this page.


Questions regarding the program, application process, or information session may be directed to Marie Gossman Thomas at

1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 410        Washington, DC 20004        P: 301.314.0963     

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