CCAT Briefing for Vermont Nonprofts


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An overview of CCAT assessment tool for Vermont nonprofits as part of the Benchmarks for a Better Vermont initiative. For more information HTTP:// and

This is funded with a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

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CCAT Briefing for Vermont Nonprofts

  1. 1. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT Welcome to the BBVT Briefing Call on Using the Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT) March 7, 2012
  2. 2. WELCOME!HOUSEKEEPING DETAILS Have you “tested your computer” ? You can mute you line with *6 The Call will be recorded A link to the recording and slides will be sent to you following the call. Please mute your phone now…
  3. 3. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONTWhat is Benchmarks for a Better Vermont (BBVT)?•AFederally funded grant project to strengthen Vermontnonprofits and expand their impact through performancemeasurement.•Employs Results-Based Accountability™ framework, fromthe book Trying Hard is Not Good Enough by MarkFriedman
  4. 4. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT Funding from Corporation for National and Community Service to six statewide capacity builders: Marlboro College Graduate School, lead partner Common Good Vermont Vermont Community Foundation United Way of Chittenden County United Ways of Vermont SerVermont
  5. 5. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT BBVT’s “Ladder of Opportunity” Common Good Vermont Nonprofit Conference – Tuesday, March 20 – Seats still available in Newport and Bennington Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT) BBVT Performance Institute
  6. 6. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT BBVT Performance Institute• 15 nonprofits with budgets under $2.5 million• 3 cohorts: education, healthy lifestyles, economic opportunity• 75 hours of engagement over 15 months• Organizations will master performance measurement skills, and create individual and shared indicators
  7. 7. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT BBVT Collaborators Circle•Expands the reach of BBVT beyond 15 nonprofits•Bringstogether private and public funders, keyconsultants, state government leaders, and businessescommitted to supporting nonprofits.•Bring experience in performance measurement andindicators of health and well-being to help develop sharedmeasures for broad use
  8. 8. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT Overview of the Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT)•An on-line questionnaire providing a “360 assessment”of your agency’s strengths and areas for improvement –45 minutes to take, and an instant report•A report highlighting where to start in strengtheningyour nonprofit’s effectiveness
  9. 9. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONTCCAT is a national research-based model of organizationaleffectiveness developed by Peter York and Paul Connolly atTCC consulting group in Philadelphia.CCAT has been used all over the country – for example, by abroad group of nonprofits in the Los Angeles area,organizations in the arts sector, and many nonprofits acrossNew Hampshire.It not only gives you a picture of your organization -- It alsocreates data for the state of Vermont. Your participation isimportant because it can give us guidance about how to makethe most helpful investments in Vermont’s nonprofits.
  10. 10. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT Why use the CCAT?•Asa tool to start conversations about continuousimprovement and benchmark progress each year•Asa starting point for strategic planning, board and staffdevelopment, annual workplans, and fundraising•As a way to present your case to funders
  11. 11. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT How does the CCAT fit with the BBVT Performance Institute?•Gives a global picture of how to strengthen your agency•Specific CCAT questions focus on building a culture ofcontinuous learning•You must take the CCAT to qualify for the PerformanceInstitute. Scores will be one part of the selection process,and participants will re-take the CCAT one year later.•Assembling all CCAT results will show us a picture ofstatewide needs and gaps in capacity-building help
  12. 12. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT What do we mean by “capacity”?•The ability to deliver on your mission•NOT an assessment of specific programs and services•YESan assessment of the systems and processes thatmake that possible
  13. 13. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT Examples:•NOT “Is our hotline working well?”•YES “Do we have a system for knowing whether it’sworking well, defining what ‘working well’ means, andusing the learning to improve our hotline?”•NOT “Did we meet our fundraising goals this year?”•YES “Do we have the leadership and systems to keepfundraising on track? Does our board need moretraining?”
  14. 14. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT What are the four “core capacities”? Technical capacity (p.s. - not technology!) Management capacity Leadership capacity Adaptive capacity
  15. 15. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT Technical CapacityThe ability of a nonprofit organization to implement all ofthe key organizational and programmatic functions Examples:Marketing and communication, technology, legal skills,fundraising, earned-income generation, accounting, andfacilities management.
  16. 16. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT Management CapacityThe ability of a nonprofit organization to ensure theeffective and efficient use of organizational resources Examples:Financial management, service delivery, programevaluation and replication, outreach and advocacy.
  17. 17. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT Leadership CapacityThe ability of board and staff leaders to create and sustainthe vision, inspire, model, prioritize, make decisions,provide direction and innovate, all in an effort to achievethe organizational mission Examples:Board and staff visioning, inspiring, directing, prioritizing,innovating, decision-making, leadership transitions, internalcommunication.
  18. 18. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT Adaptive CapacityThe ability a nonprofit organization to monitor, assess,respond to and create internal and external changes Examples:Community needs assessment, organizational assessment,program evaluation, strategic planning, collaborations andpartnerships.
  19. 19. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT What else does the CCAT measure?•Your organization’s life cycle stage•Your organization’s culture•And what they both say about where to focus yourinternal development efforts
  20. 20. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT Who should take the CCAT?Any organization that wants to learn about itself and isable to take the time to do the survey, and to haveongoing conversations that make good use of theresults. Survey questions best fit agencies with somestaff, and budgets of $100,000 or more. Who should not take the CCAT?An agency facing short-term survival questions, aninternal crisis, severe cutbacks or financial struggles,leadership transition within the past or coming 3 months,major re-structuring, program expansion, a large grant, ormerger.
  21. 21. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT Who is eligible to take the CCAT through BBVT?•75 Vermont nonprofits may take the CCA T this springat no cost, thanks to generous underwriting by theVermont Community Foundation and NationalCorporation for Community ServiceYou must:•Have an annual budget of under $2.5 million.•Haveattended the Vermont Nonprofit Conference onMarch 20th.
  22. 22. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT What if we’re too large, miss the 75 slots, or just aren’t ready yet?•You can still take the CCAT now, or later this year – bypaying a substantially discounted fee of $200.•Depending on future funding, additional free slots maybecome available at a later date.
  23. 23. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT How do we sign up for the CCAT?•Attend the Vermont Nonprofit Conference on March20th•Sign-ups begin on March 21st by going to the BBVTwebsite
  24. 24. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT How does the CCAT survey work?•Picka “lead person” in your agency who will receive theCCAT log-in code, fill out some background informationabout your agency, and organize 3 – 7 participants in youragency who will fill out the survey.•Your agency’s participants fill out the on-line survey –about 45 minutes.•Once all participants are finished, you will immediatelyreceive your report wit results and recommendations.
  25. 25. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT Who in our agency takes the survey?•Pick 3 – 7 participants who know your organization wellenough to answer a broad range of questions.•These should be your top leaders – for example, theexecutive director, 2-3 senior managers, and 2 boardmembers.•Anagency with few staff might include more boardmembers.
  26. 26. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT What happens after we take the survey?Whether or not you apply to the Performance Institute, you’llget:•Recommendations in the report for what to try next•A debriefing workshop this spring to help you interpret andprioritize your results•A “Best Practice Guide” on how to build strengths in each ofthe four Core Capacities•Online resources from the TCC Group,
  27. 27. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT What can we do to prepare?The most important thing is this:Discuss as a board and staff whether you are ready ready and excited about learning,and how you will create the time over the coming year toexplore and act on the results – even if you just pick 2-3 areas to focus on.
  28. 28. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT Questions?
  29. 29. Benchmarks for aBETTER VERMONT For more information, contact: Anne Lezak, Project Coordinator Benchmarks for a Better Vermont (802) 417-2714 or visit our webpage,