Meet our Best Starts Capacity Builders! 

We know that children, young people, and families thrive when they have access to high-quality, equitable, and culturally relevant services and programs. To support the success of our community, we directly support our partners, including small, culturally specific community-based organizations that historically have not had access to the public or private funds necessary to build organizational capacity and infrastructure. At Best Starts, we know it’s important to provide resources and supports to address this historical and systemic disadvantage and support the long-term sustainability of our partners and programs. We seek to help strengthen our partners’ organizational assets and follow their lead. That’s why we have and will continue to invest in capacity building throughout the initiative.    

One of the ways we invest in capacity building is by offering the support of capacity building consultants. Meet our 14 new BSK capacity building consultants – who we call capacity builders – below! Capacity builders offer individualized, responsive coaching and training to support organizations’ capabilities. Best Starts matches organizations with capacity builders according to their needs. Areas of support include financial management, human resources, data and evaluation, IT, marketing, board governance, equity and social justice, legal services, needs assessments, and organizational development. This relational approach provides 1:1 support for our partners.   

If you are currently funded by Best Starts for Kids and interested in partnering with a capacity builder, please contact the Best Starts for Kids Program Manager for your strategy and program area. For organizations interested in applying for funding opportunities, technical assistance is available to help navigate the process.  

Here’s what the Best Starts capacity builders have to say about their own work: 

alterNative consulting 

alterNative is a consulting group led by Victor Rodriguez and Dr. Damarys Espinoza. As Indigenous Xicanxs deeply rooted in our communities, we are committed to working with community organizations with a deliberate focus on advancing racial justice and equity across King County. We combine interdisciplinary expertise with our lived experience to provide you with tailored services — building a new initiative, strategic planning, facilitation, program development, community engagement, qualitative research, policy analysis, and much more. We incorporate an “equity and social justice lens” to all the work we do. Guiding values that inform our work as capacity builders include: 1) building community power; 2) building bridges; and 3) building relationships. Our role as capacity builders is to work in partnership with community organizations to foster their strengths and in doing so, build community power. 

Attemla Consulting 

Attemla Consulting believes that a company’s well-being deserves a SWAP: Somatic Wellness & Anti-racist Practices™, an evidence-based introduction of combining embodied trauma-informed mindfulness, intersectional racial equity and anti-Black racism philosophies fused within pathways to wellness. Our collective of consultants have over 12 years of local to global experience providing services to diverse communities across King County. We work with under-resourced families and children from immigrant and refugee communities of the global majority that speak over 50 unique languages and serve the complex needs of homeless people, youth in schools, incarcerated people via prison abolitionism, LGBTQIA+ and/or QIBPOC communities, and medical patients with complex treatment. Attemla provides transformational experiences that lead to organizations innovating in ways that disrupt systems of inequity, services related to organizational formation and risk assessment, board development & governance, asset mapping, workplace & leadership wellness via trauma informed care, perinatal mental health and reducing biases that lead to the disconnect between providers and BIPOC clients. 

Bulle Consulting 

Hassan Wardere and his team mainly focus on an equity-driven Return on Relationship (RoR) framework that is centered on strengths-based practices. Our team has a holistic experience that enables us to provide capacity building services that help organizations strengthen their internal infrastructure, continuously improving their ability to scale and adapt to change. We have helped over 104 organizations across the U.S., and have also worked with clients in Brazil, Rwanda, Ghana, South Africa, and Senegal. Language being an important factor in our work, we have a diverse team that values language justice on all levels. We promote co-creation within a holistic process that champions King County’s diversity and utilizes culturally congruent strategies that enable families and children to thrive.   

The Capacity Collective

The Capacity Collective, an LGBTQ- and women-led organization, is a team of compassionate nerds based in King County. We help organizations set up and streamline data processes so they can demonstrate their great work, celebrate the impacts they are making, elevate the experiences of their communities, and advocate for social change. Our team leverages the power of data (in all its forms) to support organizations as they collect, store, analyze and share the stories of their communities in their own voices—not just responding to funders. We believe in capacity building, not just dropping off tools. From brainstorming your dream outcomes, to refining your processes, to implementing a new database, and more…we love to work alongside you as partners, building your capacity, so you can build the capacity of your communities. 


Cardea is a national, nonprofit, women of color-led organization based in Seattle with nearly 50 years of experience in social impact evaluation, policy advancement, capacity development, and professional learning. We envision a world in which optimal health and well-being, equity, and justice are realities for all communities, and our mission is to address complex program, policy, and systems issues by co-creating solutions that center community strengths and wisdom. Our team is passionate about the power of evaluations that center equity, social justice, and community voice to share our partners’ successes and drive the changes they seek. Cardea’s 12-person social impact evaluation team specializes in community-driven, culturally responsive qualitative and quantitative methods, participatory and collaborative evaluation, and data visualization and storytelling. Cardea has been a partner to Best Starts for Kids on a range of evaluation-related initiatives since 2018. 

Communities Rise 

Communities Rise fosters movements to build power in communities in Washington impacted by systemic oppression. To create an equitable system, we pursue cross-sector collaboration, and provide capacity building and legal services for community organizations and small businesses. We recognize the strength and resilience in our communities and offer support through peer learning, coaching, legal services, tools and trainings. We work with community leaders in the broader nonprofit, public, and philanthropic sectors to create systemic change. By valuing community voices, sharing knowledge, prioritizing racial equity, and leading by example, we aim to build trust, power, and strength in our communities. 

Crux Consulting Consortium 

Crux is a multidisciplinary consulting group that supports the development of strong leaders and leadership. At the heart of all that we do is a deep commitment to developing systems changes centered in principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We help teams design and initiate organizational evolution, disrupt entrenched patterns, and capture strategic opportunities. At Crux we build customized consulting teams for each project, investing our decades of experience in your capacity to deliver on your priorities. Crux services available through Best Starts include Board Development, Communications, Data and Evaluation, Equity and Social Justice, Finance, Fundraising, Human Resources, Needs Assessments, Volunteer Management, and overall Organizational Development.  

Inclusive Data 

Inclusive Data is a consulting team of grant winners and tech wizards who teach and support clients to create community-led solutions. We’ve honed our grant skills into an $18+ million playbook for Black non-profits and small businesses in our community all while centering liberation frameworks. For Best Starts for Kids, we provide both Technical Assistance and Capacity-Building in English, Spanish, and Mandarin. For Organizational Development and Fundraising Strategy Capacity Building, we can help you tap into the power of community-building, strategizing to connect with the right sponsors and donors, refining your message, and leveraging social media. For IT Capacity Building, we can provide a website audit and asynchronous video interview to better understand your needs. We offer IT strategy through tech automation such as templates, click-and-load websites, donation automation, Click Funnels, Kartra, and automated outreach/marketing workflows. 

Optimum Nonprofit Consulting 

Optimum Nonprofit Consulting (ONC) is a collective of experts (DeAndrea, Hillary, Chase, and Donald) with experiences across the fields of grant writing, accounting, human resources, marketing, education and social justice services.  With over 60 years of combined involvement supporting nonprofits and social service organizations throughout King County, our track record is lined with successes.  ONC realizes that small, diverse organizations are well connected to their communities with specialties for addressing the needs of families and children. ONC’s coaching fosters growth through capacity building while ensuring proposals are culturally responsive and centered in equity strategies. Capacity Building offerings include finance assistance, human resource management, social justice training, branding and marketing.  

Pamela J. Oakes 

Pamela J. Oakes, owner of The Profitable Nonprofit, is a Fund & Organizational Development expert passionately promoting Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access (IDEA) in philanthropy.  She conducted Equity & Inclusion workshops while consulting the top corporations in South Africa during the post-apartheid Racial Reconciliation period.  As a former grant maker with the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation, her work is laser-focused on revenue generation and diversification; donor acquisition and retention; effective governance & board leadership; and implementing transformative organizational visions and sound operational systems. She leaves nonprofits with robust fundraising strategies to enable catalytic funding goals and foundational program offerings aligned with a strategic plan that deliver quantitative evidence of credibility and service. Pamela is a certified state trainer for the Washington Nonprofit Association, as well as the Nonprofit Association of Oregon. Her aim is to lift others up through her work by translating ‘hope’ into articulate, strategic, actionable intents.

Puget Sound Educational Service District

The PSESD Strategy, Evaluation and Learning team supports racially just and humanizing school systems through evaluation and data capacity building. We work with community organizations to support learning, growth, and development in the areas most important to them. This includes peer learning, coaching, and one-on-one technical assistance. In addition to working with organizations of all sizes, we work directly with youth and family members, primarily from BIPOC communities, on training in data collection. We have taught youth and adults to engage in their own data collection both to grow their own skills and to get the perspectives of community members into the hands of policy makers to support systems transformation. We are excited to support the transformational practices, rooted in resilience, creativity, and liberation, of BSK partner organizations. 

reimagine collective 

reimagine collective is an association of mission-driven Asian American strategists, organizers, coaches, and designers. With decades of technical assistance and capacity building experience to draw upon, the collective strives to reimagine how people come together to cultivate themselves and their communities. reimagine has 20+ years of experience training community based organizations in grant writing. For community outreach and coalition building, we work with leaders to build strategy, tactics and tools to advance their goals. We also help set up appropriate infrastructures for human resources. 

RHL Consulting LLC

The team at RHL Consulting is committed to fostering an equitable society where leaders in human services advance the collective power, knowledge and systems that build well-being within communities. Relationships are at the center of our work. Our role is to listen carefully so we may support our clients’ cultural practices and values. We trust community wisdom, and together co-develop strategies that strengthen organizational and community assets while disrupting oppressive systems. We are excited to support you as you grow your leadership capabilities, develop fundraising, facilitate strategic growth, mission, vision, and values, build partnerships, magnify your IT, and develop successful funding proposals. No matter the task, we come prepared with our values of community, generosity, and integrity, open minds, humility, and a big toolbox of resources and methods we have used, co-developed, and co-adapted to suit each organization’s culture, needs, and interests.

Youth Development Executives of King County

Youth Development Executives of King County (YDEKC) is a coalition of more than 100 youth-serving non-profit organizations and a capacity builder in youth development and education. Our mission is to connect, strengthen, and amplify the leaders of youth-serving organizations so that all Black, Indigenous and youth of color thrive. YDEKC facilitates collective learning experiences to support leaders in youth-serving organizations, schools, and school districts to build and sustain school-community partnerships at the program/site, organization, and system levels. Lead capacity builders Anne Arias and Jessica Werner each have two decades of experience in youth development and cross-sector partnerships. Offerings include a monthly series combining professional development with technical assistance, office hours, workshops from our School and Community Partnership Curriculum, a peer learning cohort, tools and strategies via our School and Community Partnership Toolkit, and one-on-one support. 

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