Capacity Building: Enhancing Organizational Impact
Not-for-profit organizations do incredibly important work – providing critical services that support and enrich our communities. Robust internal capacity and organizational competence is what supports their ability to achieve impact. At Vantage Point we are on a mission to improve not-for-profit capacity.
By building the capacity of your not-for-profit organization, you can strengthen the impact your programs have in your community and ensure long-term program sustainability. The importance of capacity building is a critical conversation for not-for-profits, funders, government, and the broader community.
What exactly is capacity? It is impact. It is resilience. It is sustainability. Essentially, capacity building is an ongoing investment in the improved performance and sustainability of our people and organizations. What does an investment in capacity look like? It is a focus on and commitment to enhancing our internal governance, management, and operations. It can include professional development that improves staff leadership competencies, board governance training that enhances board effectiveness, or technology that improves customer and donor relations.
At Vantage Point we focus on four areas of not-for-profit capacity: management, governance, financial resources, and administrative systems1. In addition to strong program delivery, these are the organizational platforms that support and sustain an organization’s impact.
Why Does Capacity Building Matter?
Capacity building creates more effective and resilient not-for-profit organizations. Imagine the potential that your not-for-profit could achieve with fully equipped leaders, robust financial management systems, flexibility to adapt when challenges arise, and a collaborative work environment that allows for new ideas and generative thinking. When positioned this way, capacity building is sexy!
We see the impact of capacity building every day and our program evaluations show incredible results in areas such as leadership competencies, improved employee engagement, and increased fundraising. Capacity building takes time and investment, but the benefits far exceed the cost.
Our Next Steps
What does your internal capacity look like? We encourage you to start conversations with your colleagues and supporters about what increased capacity would mean for your organization. Let’s discover and unleash the potential in our teams and organizations and build stronger organizational competence.
At Vantage Point we are committed to capacity building and we will continue to engage leaders, funders, and the community on this important topic. We will highlight practical tools and share new insights along the way through our blog, resources, and new capacity resource page for not-for-profits.
Together, as not-for-profit leaders, funders, and community members let’s increase the capacity of not-for-profit organizations!
1 As identified in Nonprofit Lifecycles: Stage Based Wisdom for Nonprofit Capacity by Susan Kenny Stevens.