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Member Affinity Groups are our most valuable resource and means of advancing the research and practice of capacity building.

Affinity Groups self-organize around a specified interest or identity with the primary purpose of innovating ideas, practices, models, research and/or publications. They also provide a space for Alliance members with similar interests to network with each other, exchange ideas, and develop their skills. 

To join an Affinity Group, log in to the Member Center.

Currently, we have Member Affinity Groups focused around: 

(Click on a link to jump to the Group's description and lead contacts.)

Capacity Building Organizations (CBO)

The purpose of the CBO Affinity Group is to advance the knowledge and practices of capacity building among nonprofit organizations whose missions aim to strengthen the nonprofit sector. This includes stand-alone organizations previously known as management support organizations, national or statewide organizations that provide capacity building for their association or federations, intermediary organizations and foundations and United Ways that provide capacity building services. 

Our work includes: exchanging best and next practices that advance the effectiveness of our work; identifying strategies and models that are sustainable; advocating for capacity building and related funding with philanthropy and government; and sharing breakthroughs in research or practices that advance the field. 

The group meets approximately six times per year through virtual meetings on key topics identified by members and which are generally informed by a member survey on current practices. The group also meets during the annual Alliance conference. 

Affinity Group Leaders: Keith Timko and Patty Oertel

Executive Transition and Leadership Continuity (ETLC)

With more than 100 members, the Executive Transition & Leadership Continuity Affinity Group, or ETLC, is a professional community of capacity-builders who focus on strengthening nonprofits by creating human resource solutions and developing human capital to lead the sector. Those encouraged to participate in this affinity group include: executive search/transition consultants, interim executives, nonprofit turnaround consultants, executive coaches, researchers, succession planning specialists, talent pipeline and leadership development consultants, human resource professionals, and others who specialize in the nonprofit sector and see value in the network.


The ETLC Group sees its work as a pioneering and trail-blazing effort to:

  • develop methodologies, reinforce good practices, and identify research needs that promote leadership continuity within nonprofit organizations by planning for positive leadership transitions,
  • attracting and retaining outstanding professionals for the sector,
  • developing future generations of leaders within the sector, and
  • advocating for and teaching succession planning as fundamental to an organization’s capacity to benefit society.


For more information on joining or participating in this group and its work and resource, please see

Affinity Group Leaders: Julia Burns and Carrie Blanding


The Governance group provides a forum to forward creative thinking in the field of board governance and development, including the generation of new approaches and models for community-based organizations. Through sharing of new approaches, practices, and research among a diverse group of consultants, capacity building organizations, and researchers, this affinity group hopes to not only further the field, but also to increase the knowledge base, generative thinking, and consulting skills of its members.

Affinity Group Leader: Judy Freiwirth

Coming Soon: Race & Equity, Consulting Practice Development and Young Professionals

These groups are being formed based on expressed member interest. If you are interested in launching another new group, please contact us or submit an idea in the Members: Idea Bos.