Strategies to Achieve Social Impact
TCC Group Strategy Programs/Grants Management Capacity Building Evaluation

Capacity Building

As competition, demands for accountability, and needs for service mount, organizations must continually adapt and strengthen their capacity to survive and succeed. Nonprofits and funders are leveraging their dollars to invest in capacity building to improve leadership, governance, and management and to enhance program outcomes.

Foundations that strategically invest capacity building resources give rise to more effective nonprofit organizations; this leads to stronger programs and ultimately, greater impact in the community. Our capacity building services for funders, nonprofits and cohorts of organizations include:

Targeting Change (Nonprofit Capacity Assessment + Interpretation + Action)

Used by more than 5,000 nonprofits, the Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT) is the leading assessment tool for measuring nonprofit effectiveness in relation to four core capacities – leadership, adaptability, management, and technical – as well as organizational culture. Nonprofits identify their lifecycle stage, receive a real-time findings report, and create a prioritized capacity building plan.

CCAT interpretation sessions include a facilitated conversation with all who have taken the CCAT, led by a skilled TCC consultant; CCAT survey results are analyzed and discussed, so your organization’s leadership is able to deepen its understanding of the CCAT findings, prioritize its most urgent needs, and develop a personalized action plan based on results. Interpretations can be provided to clusters of nonprofits exhibiting similar levels of capacity building readiness, those at the same life cycle stage, or to individual nonprofits.

Outcomes for Nonprofits and Foundations:

  • Tailored and targeted capacity building plans
  • Data to help articulate nonprofit needs and marshal resources
  • Greater awareness of nonprofit capacity building needs, priorities for organizational development

Capacity Building Initiative Design

In order for capacity building support to lead to real organizational change, it must be long-term and aligned with the program goals of both the foundation and its grantee partners. Efforts that involve reassessment and restructuring of nonprofit resources, strategic planning, and/or Board and staff development are time- and resource-intensive endeavors. TCC Group is an expert at working with foundations to design capacity building initiatives that lead to actionable, sustained social sector change.

Outcomes for Nonprofits and Foundations:

  • Capacity building learning curriculum tailored to nonprofit needs, future direction
  • Increased ability to offer capacity building guidance to nonprofits
  • Increased ability to design capacity building investments based on nonprofit needs
  • A system to gauge organizational readiness and buy-in
  • A tailored and targeted phased approach to move grant partners toward core cohorts
  • Increased likelihood that capacity building investments will lead to real and sustained change on the part of grantees

Capacity Building Learning Communities

Capacity Building Learning Communities foster an open and sustainable culture of collaboration built on the engagement of multiple social sector players; this results in higher levels of capacity for all. Community resources are most effectively distributed, and impact most powerfully enhanced when funders collectively engage all stakeholders in determining for what they need to build capacity; for whom capacity needs to be built; and how that can most effectively occur. Our work in collaborative capacity building design benefits groups that share a common issue-area focus or regional proximity; plus funders, companies, and government agencies interested in building capacity of their entire ecosystem.

Outcomes for Nonprofits, Foundations, and the Local Sector:

  • Increased ability to share and leverage local capacity building resources
  • Increased understanding of strengths and needs in grant portfolio, including ways to “cluster” organizations based on shared needs
  • A defined capacity building strategy to support a grant portfolio
  • An investment approach that maximizes resources and impact of grantees
  • Shared understanding of available resources and gaps in services
  • Increased partnership and community ownership of capacity building to bolster local capacity building offerings

Evaluation of Capacity Building

We help funders to prioritize outcomes and evaluate capacity-building efforts, both in the short and long term, by providing a critical combination of program evaluation and organizational assessment.

Contact Julie Simpson, Director of Nonprofit Strategy and Capacity Building, to learn more about our tailored services.

See our results.

In Practice

TCC Group is partnering with the Wiregrass Foundation in the design and implementation of its holistic three-year capacity building program, CapCONNECT. The outcomes of the first phase of work included: a clear theory of change for the Foundation’s capacity building program; collection of relevant data from grantee partners on their needs to inform the design of the program; assessment of the “readiness” of grantee partners to engage in, and commit to, capacity building; and alignment of the Foundation’s goals (health, education, quality of life) with the most pressing needs of its grantee partners.

Striving to keep pace with its fast rate of growth, St. David’s Foundation engaged TCC Group to recommend improvements to their internal systems that would allow the Foundation to increase its impact by streamlining and improving governance and review processes, as well as offer the Foundation suggestions to best deploy its resources. TCC Group also evaluated St. David’s Foundation Capacity Academy program, which provides grants to seven organizations to pursue a capacity-building plan of their choice, using a mix of consultant support, professional development, coaching, and peer learning.