Capacity is organizational capability and competence.
The most effective not-for-profits are adaptable and resilient.
They have inspiring leaders, sound financial management practices, and the ability to collaborate with others. They also have the space to plan, execute, and assess new strategies. Robust capacity and organizational competence is what enables not-for-profits to achieve impact and make our communities richer.
Building organizational capacity is an ongoing investment that strengthens the cornerstones of organizational effectiveness, including governance, leadership, administration, and financial sustainability.
Not-for-profits that focus their energies and investments on the four capacity areas, in addition to impactful program delivery, generate returns four-times its costs.
There is no right way or prescribed approach to build capacity. However, as an organization’s programs grow in scope and complexity, it is critical that the four key areas – management, governance, finances, and administrative systems1 – are equally aligned to keep pace with the resources required to run its programs and services.
Capacity building is our ability to effectively deliver on our mission, now and in the future. It requires an ongoing focus to improve the performance of our people and organizations. It requires support from funders, partners, and community members to make specific investments in administration requirements and people development. Recent research from Imagine Canada, Ignite NPS, and Vantage Point’s own evaluation outcomes prove that investing in capacity increases overall organizational performance in areas such as fundraising, program outcomes, and employee engagement.
Capacity building is the means that ensures not-for-profit effectiveness and impact.
Vantage Point is committed to support capacity building and transform not-for-profit leadership through our expertise in leadership development, board governance, and strategic planning. Through decades of convening, connecting, and equipping not-for-profit staff, board members, and volunteers, we are ideally placed to support the sector in building more effective and resilient organizations.
1 As identified in Nonprofit Lifecycles: Stage Based Wisdom for Nonprofit Capacity by Susan Kenny Stevens.