Capacity Building: What it is and Why it Works!


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Capacity Building: What it is and Why it Works!

The CLA Annual National Conference

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  • What does ‘capacity-building’ mean? How can it benefit your organization as well as those you serve? From federal agencies to community foundations, funders are increasingly encouraging grantees to engage in capacity-building efforts. In this session, gain powerful insight into the world of capacity building. As a three-time Compassion Capital Fund intermediary that has worked with hundreds of faith and community-based organizations, JVA Consulting will share its tips and strategies for leveraging grant opportunities to strengthen your organization’s ability to achieve its mission, attract additional resources and develop sustainable, successful practices. 
  • "actions that improve nonprofit effectiveness" (from Investing in Capacity Building by Barbara Blumenthal, published by The Foundation Center)
  • Organizational strength contributes to program effectiveness Stronger capacity means a stronger organization, thereby helping deploy scarce resources more effectively
  • The federal government has invested in building the capacity of FBCOs through it’s Compassion Capital Fund. Funds cannot support direct social services or inherently religious activities - such as religious instruction, workshop or proselytizing.
  • To date, we have provided capacity building workshops to over xx FCBOs. We will fund up to 10 FCBOs, distributing $200K
  • Goal of increasing effectiveness in 5 areas… Nonprofit leadership —To develop the skills of nonprofit leaders Organizational development—To improve the leadership and administrative structure of the organization Programs/services—To improve and/or create effective services for communities Funding—To develop and diversify funding streams Community engagement—To develop collaborations and community involvement
  • Taken from CCF guidelines, these may spark ideas on the areas of capacity that may need to be built or strengthened at your organization.
  • JVA has developed a comprehensive approach to capacity building that is customized for the needs of the individual client. Using this approach, JVA has developed the capacity of hundreds of organizations. The approach encompasses: Organizational Assessment: When an organization initiates its relationship with JVA, a staff member assesses its current capacity using the JVA Organizational Assessment Tool. This tool measures an organization’s capacity in 12 different areas, including governance, fundraising, program development, evaluation and community collaboration. Work Plan: After the organizational assessment is completed, a JVA staff member develops a work plan that aligns with the assessment. The work plan describes the work to be performed with the client, a timeline and persons involved. This enables both the staff member and the client to track and plan for one-on-one capacity building services. Training: JVA typically offers a series of training workshops to organizations involved in capacity building. JVA has developed an 11-module training program that addresses all core areas of nonprofit management: board development, financial management, fundraising, program development, evaluation, foundation and government grant writing, marketing and public relations, and volunteer management. These workshops lay the foundation for one-on-one consulting that follows. Client participation in workshops is tracked in our database. Consulting: JVA’s staff members provide one-on-one consulting in all areas of nonprofit management. We are skilled facilitators, conducting sessions on strategic planning, fundraising planning and business planning with our clients. We have also helped establish financial management systems and evaluation plans as well as client tracking and contact databases. All staff and consultants have access to JVA toolkits, so that clients have access to the most current and best information on different subject areas such as nonprofit governance. Consulting work is tracked in our database, allowing us to determine the amount and types of consulting an individual client receives. Follow-Up Assessments: JVA conducts a follow-up assessment using the same tool used for the baseline assessment. The follow-up assessment, when compared to the baseline assessment, helps us understand whether or not our capacity-building interventions were effective. By factoring in the consulting and training the organization received, we can see what interventions may have contributed to capacity building gains. Ongoing Technical Assistance: Even after organizations “graduate” from our capacity-building programs, JVA is committed to developing their capacity. We do this through a variety of means, including online support, emailed opportunities, a listserv and opportunities for peer networking. We constantly look for opportunities for our clients that will advance their missions.
  • The 12 areas are ranked on an overall scale of zero (weak capacity) to 172 (strong capacity). Outcomes and outcome indicators are identified for each area of the assessment tool, which serves two purposes: キ  To diagnose needs and strengths before a group starts its capacity-building program and thus determine the scope and type of follow-up technical assistance and consulting キ  To provide baseline information on the organization, a critical element of the capacity-building evaluation.
  • So how do you get started building your organization’s capacity?
  • Capacity Building: What it is and Why it Works!

    1. 1. Capacity Building: What it is and Why it Works! The CLA Annual National Conference Presented by Kerry Lupher, MSW April 22, 2008
    2. 2. What is Capacity Building? <ul><li>Capacity building refers to actions taken to strengthen an organization’s ability to achieve its mission in an effective manner. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Benefits of Building Capacity <ul><li>For your organization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase organizational sustainability, efficiency and effectiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhance ability to provide social services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create collaborations to better serve those most in need </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For those you serve </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase program effectiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase ability to deliver more effective programs that produce positive client outcomes </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><ul><li>Limited resources (time, staff, funding) necessitate strategic planning of faith-based and community organizations’ engagement in effective service provision. </li></ul></ul>Why Build Capacity?
    5. 5. <ul><li>“ Strong and stable organizations are a critical component of program impact” and ultimately advancing a funder’s mission. </li></ul><ul><li>Source: James Irvine Foundation </li></ul>A Funder’s Point of View…
    6. 6. A Funder’s Point of View… <ul><li>“ Doing good is the business of philanthropy. But that's not the same as doing well. It's easy to give away money; it's not easy to do so effectively.” </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Pew Charitable Trust </li></ul>
    7. 7. A Funder’s Point of View… <ul><ul><li>“ By addressing issues that are critical to the long-term viability of non-profit organizations, faith-based and community organizations are better prepared and positioned to understand and meet the needs of their communities.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Compassion Capital Fund (CCF) <ul><li>A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Faith-Based and Community Initiative </li></ul><ul><li>To help grassroots faith-based and community organizations maximize their social impact as they provide services to those most in need </li></ul><ul><li>Funds capacity building activities that produce measurable effects that result in more sustainable organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Funds cannot support direct social services or inherently religious activities </li></ul><ul><li>For more information: </li></ul>
    9. 9. JVA & the Colorado Compassion Initiative <ul><li>A three-time CCF intermediary </li></ul><ul><li>One of 21 organizations in the nation selected to be an intermediary in the nation’s first CCF Demonstration Grant in 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: to provide capacity building grants and technical assistance to faith-based and community organizations throughout Colorado </li></ul>
    10. 10. CCF & CCI Areas of Capacity Building <ul><li>Leadership development </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational development </li></ul><ul><li>Programs/services development </li></ul><ul><li>Funding/revenue development strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Community engagement </li></ul>
    11. 11. Building Leadership Capacity <ul><li>Training to enhance skills in service delivery, administration, management and/or leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Establishing or improving the performance of board of directors (membership, orientation, protocols and responsibilities) </li></ul><ul><li>Recruiting, developing and managing volunteers more effectively </li></ul><ul><li>Training and development for volunteers or development of a volunteer program </li></ul>
    12. 12. Building Organizational Capacity <ul><li>Incorporating as a legally recognized organization, obtaining 501(c)(3) status with the IRS </li></ul><ul><li>Creating, adopting or revising a written mission statement </li></ul><ul><li>Creating and adopting a written strategic plan </li></ul><ul><li>Participating in an organizational assessment by an external individual/entity </li></ul><ul><li>Hiring a financial manager </li></ul><ul><li>Getting an audit of finances/financial records by an external auditor </li></ul><ul><li>Creating or improving formal, written financial management procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Developing or implementing financial management systems </li></ul><ul><li>Implementing a budgeting process </li></ul>
    13. 13. More on Building Organizational Capacity <ul><li>Building volunteer management systems and outreach </li></ul><ul><li>Developing HR policies, supervision protocol, performance review strategies, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing computer and/or software proficiency; updating computers and/or software; increasing organizational utilization of the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Developing a communications strategy </li></ul>
    14. 14. Building Program Capacity <ul><li>Developing or implementing plans to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase number of clients served and/or the number or scope of services offered to clients </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expand into a new programmatic area </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incorporate a new approach to services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve service quality/effectiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include a new group of service recipients or geographic area </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Curriculum development and/or purchase </li></ul><ul><li>Developing and implementing program evaluation </li></ul>
    15. 15. Building Revenue Development Capacity <ul><li>Creating a written fundraising/fund development plan </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing the number of applications for funding submitted and/or approved </li></ul><ul><li>Seeking and/or obtaining funding from new sources </li></ul><ul><li>Hiring a grant/contract writer to train staff to prepare applications for funding </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying and pursuing new sources of funding and/or in-kind donations </li></ul><ul><li>Designing a donor development strategy </li></ul>
    16. 16. Building Capacity for Community Engagement <ul><li>Creating or updating a Web site </li></ul><ul><li>Developing or distributing written materials, such as a brochure or newsletter </li></ul><ul><li>Making presentations to, and/or engaging in partnerships with, other local faith-based and community groups </li></ul><ul><li>Utilizing public service announcements or paid advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Undertaking activities to better understand the needs in your community or service area (e.g., meeting with constituents, community mapping, needs assessment) </li></ul>
    17. 17. JVA’s CCI Strategy for Building Capacity <ul><li>Comprehensive organizational assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Work plan development </li></ul><ul><li>Intensive capacity building workshops </li></ul><ul><li>One-on-one consulting </li></ul><ul><li>Follow-up assessments </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing technical assistance </li></ul>
    18. 18. JVA’s Comprehensive Organizational Assessment <ul><li>Developed by JVA after an extensive review of literature on best practices in nonprofit management </li></ul><ul><li>Automated assessment tool ranking organizational capacity in 12 areas: </li></ul><ul><li>Board development </li></ul><ul><li>Fundraising </li></ul><ul><li>Grantwriting </li></ul><ul><li>Grants management </li></ul><ul><li>Community collaborations </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing and public relations </li></ul><ul><li>Financial management </li></ul><ul><li>Program development </li></ul><ul><li>Program evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Information technology </li></ul><ul><li>Personnel management </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer management </li></ul>
    19. 19. What We Know about What Works! <ul><li>CCI 2 evaluation study sampled organizations that received services over 3-year period. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Group 1 (N=18) received workshops only </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Group 2 (N-37) received workshops AND TA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Group 3 (N=44) received workshops, TA and monetary capacity building awards (up to $10K) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Organizations made significant gains in 12 of the 18 areas of capacity building. </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational capacity increased in direct relation to the level and amount of support offered. </li></ul><ul><li>Individualized TA and consulting directly improved organizations’ capacity to achieve their missions. </li></ul>
    20. 20. 9 Principles of Capacity Building* <ul><li>Every organization is capable of building its capacity. </li></ul><ul><li>Trust between the organization and provider is a must. </li></ul><ul><li>The organization must be ready for capacity building. </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing questions mean better answers. </li></ul><ul><li>Team and peer learning are effective capacity building tools. </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity building should accommodate different learning styles. </li></ul><ul><li>Value the organization’s unique history and culture. </li></ul><ul><li>All people and all parts of the organization are interrelated. </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity building takes time. </li></ul><ul><li>*Adapted from Echoes from the Field: Proven Capacity-Building Principles for Nonprofits, David and Lucile Packard Foundation </li></ul>
    21. 21. A Few Funders of Capacity Building <ul><li>James Irvine Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>C.S. Mott Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>Ford Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>Knight Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>Deaconess Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>Hartford Foundation for Public Giving </li></ul><ul><li>Sierra Health Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>The Pfizer Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>The David and Lucile Packard Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>Others? </li></ul>
    22. 22. Who Can Help you Build your Capacity? <ul><li>A capacity building consultant should: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand you and whom you understand (the community you serve) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work collaboratively with you to develop your capacity building action plan/ workplan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be a a clear speaker, a great facilitator and a good writer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be willing to respectfully challenge the usefulness of current practices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have experience and expertise in the capacity building areas of interest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be willing to share the capacity building work with you </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be someone who shares your organizational philosophy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What else? </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Thank you! Kerry Lupher, MSW Tel: 800.292.9551 or 303.477.4896 E-mail: [email_address] Web: You still believe one person can change the world. So does JVA—and we can help you do it.