Results of an Inquiry into Capacity Building Programs for Nonprofit Programs

Nonprofits need to be strong if they’re to make progress against their missions.  Strength, aka “organizational capacity,” is something to be developed, and developing capacity requires support.  This article details why it’s important and how it’s done.

For Grantmakers: This article presents the dynamics of successful capacity building efforts, which we hope allows them to be taken more seriously.  Grantmakers can use these dynamics to increase the chances of success of the nonprofits they support.

For Nonprofits: Capacity is the key to long-term sustainability. We hope that nonprofits will incorporate the elements of successful capacity building into their organizational planning, and that foundations will consider the merits of such planning in their grant review process.

For Activists: Activists on nonprofit and grantmaker boards can help legitimize and advocate capacity building activities into their role as director.

For Evaluators: Knowing what to look for is half the struggle of evaluation; this article illuminates the potential positive outcomes of capacity building activities.


Results of an Inquiry into Capacity Building Programs for Nonprofit Programs (pdf)

Originally appeared: Website of the Effective Communities Project

Number of pages: 15    Original date: February 2003

Author: Susan Doherty and Steven E. Mayer

Effective Communities Project
Minneapolis, MN