Tools for Capacity Building


  • The Organizational Capacity Assessment Tool (OCAT), developed by McKinsey & Company for VPP, is an assessment tool to measure operational capacity and identify areas which need improvement.
  • Read about the life cycle of nonprofits and use the Organizational Self-assessment matrix provided in this article to determine where your organization fits in the cycle, which can help you determine areas where your nonprofit can benefit from capacity building.
  • The Drucker Foundation Self-Assessment Tool provides a process for nonprofit organizations to clarify mission statements, define results, set goals, and develop focused plans.
  • What are your nonprofit’s greatest needs for capacity building? Conducting a self-assessment such as using the organizational capacity assessment tool developed by the Marguerite Casey Foundation, can help nonprofits identify capacity strengths and challenges, and establish capacity building goals.
  • The Innovation Network, Inc. also offers an organizational assessment tool, among other tools, through its "Point K" website resources. Free registration required.
  • The TCC Group has developed a Capacity Building Self-Assessment tool, CCAT, that nonprofits can use to assess and prioritize their capacity building needs. The tool is also useful in the analysis of what type of capacity building would yield the most impact at your nonprofit’s current stage of development.

Revisit your mission: As time goes on, nonprofits should revisit their mission statement to ensure that their activities are still consistent with the mission – and that the mission has kept up-to-date with the direction of the organization. Read this short article to learn about a process for engaging your board in a review of the organization’s mission statement.

How Much Does Capacity Building Cost?

Do you know how much it really costs to deliver your mission? Nonprofits need to be able to track the actual costs of their programs and services in order to 1) budget accurately 2) inform funders about the full cost of program delivery; and 3) determine the cost/benefit of engaging in specific activities over the long run.