Skill Builders

What is Skill Builders?

Cherokee Preservation Foundation wants the projects we fund to be as successful as possible, so we ask grantees what they need to learn to help them make their projects run smoothly. In response to their answers, we have developed the Skill Builders program a series of courses that build individuals’ knowledge and abilities, as well as the capabilities within grantee organizations. The whole community benefits when grantees learn from the program.

Cherokee Preservation Foundation continues to add new courses to the program. Grantees are required to take three courses per year for as long as their grant continues or if their organization applies for new funding.

How Courses Operate

Courses run from 9 a.m. to noon, followed by a one-hour networking lunch at Holiday Inn-Cherokee.

Each course is very practical so that you can directly apply what you learn in your day-to-day work. The format is interactive so you can ask questions and spend time with colleagues who are also carrying out Foundation-funded projects. There is an emphasis on best practices.

Contact Sasha Watty at (828)497-5550 or to reserve your space.

Two Is Better than One

We encourage two or more representatives from an organization to come to each workshop (a board/staff team is best).

Follow-Up Support after a Course

Skill Builder course participants are eligible for up to three hours of free in-person, phone or email follow-up support with the goal of helping you implement what you have learned back at your organization. This is effective for up to four months after the class. A Resource Coach will provide confidential assistance upon request. You will receive information on how to contact the Resource Coach at the end of each Skill Builder course.


Grantees on or near the Qualla Boundary that have at least two members of their project team attend all three Essential Skill Builder courses within a 12-month period will receive priority for grant funding.

Other grantees residing in the seven-county service area can complete at least five hours of organizational development training every 12-month period that is comparable to the Skill Builder courses (example: WNC Nonprofit Pathways or Duke Nonprofit Management courses) in order to receive priority for grant funding.

Documentation of Training to receive Priority for Grant Funding

As part of the grant application form, grant applicants have the opportunity to document their prior year’s attendance in the Skill Builder courses and/or their plans to attend training in the coming year. This step does not guarantee funding; all grants must still meet the Foundation’s guidelines and priorities and be reviewed through a competitive process.

Special Note to Grantees that Receive No-Cost Extensions

Grantees that receive no-cost extensions are required to attend the Grantee Skills courses. It is our hope this will help you complete projects on time in the future.

Skill Builder Benefits

  • The free Skill Builder courses help you have more project success.
  • The courses are taught by high-quality local instructors and are followed by a free networking lunch.
  • When you complete courses, you get priority consideration for grant funding!