“Capacity building is not just about the capacity of a nonprofit today -- it's about the nonprofit’s ability to deliver its mission effectively now, and in the future. Capacity building is an investment in the effectiveness and future sustainability of a nonprofit.”
(National Council of Nonprofits.)
This very powerful statement creates a very simple question for your organization – Are we delivering on our mission and will we be able to do so in the future?
When looking at capacity building consider the infrastructure of a car. The car’s mission is to get the driver from point A to point B. The ability to do that relies heavily on the driver and how the vehicle has been maintained. Several additional factors play into this. Has the driver been properly educated on how to operate the vehicle? Has the vehicle been properly maintained? Have the oil and other fluids been checked? Does the vehicle have gas? Has the vehicle had an annual tune-up? These factors and many others determine if the car will be able to accomplish its goal of getting the driver from point A to point B.
Capacity building for nonprofit organization operates in the same manner. To sustain an organization one needs to consider evaluating their infrastructure like that of the car. Questions to ask might include: Is leadership the strongest it can be? Are board members effective? Do employees have the necessary skills to be effective? Are volunteers trained annually? Are we serving the community? Are we getting the funding we need? These factors support your organization’s goals.
TCC Group’s Capacity Building 3.0 How to Strengthen the Social Ecosystem, suggests organizations consider what needs to be evaluated and how to do just that. They suggest reviewing skills, operational systems, training, technical assistance and experience levels.
To learn more read the complete briefing at
TCC Group is consulting firm passionate about helping the social sector achieve greater impact. Since 1980, they have developed strategies and programs that enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of foundations, nonprofits, corporate citizenship programs, and government agencies.
Capacity Building 3.0 How to Strengthen the Social Ecosystem. Jared Raynor with Chris Cardona, Thomas Knowlton, Richard Mittenthal, and Julie Simpson
Additional resources for capacity building:
National Council of Nonprofits - www.councilofnonprofits.org
Grantspace – www.grantspace.org
Program & Outreach Director for VCMC