ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY ASSESSMENT TOOL

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1 ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY ASSESSMENT TOOL 1

2 CAPACITY ASSESSMENT The Capacity Assessment Tool is a useful guide to help you focus a discussion about the resources and practices your organization already has and those it will need to accomplish its goals. BC SVP focuses on organizational capacity building because we are committed to and believe that supporting nonprofits as they develop their core skills, management practices and systems, enhances a nonprofit s ability to fulfill its mission. The purpose of the Capacity Assessment Tool is to help you decide which attributes, resources or practices are most critical to accomplishing your goals. It is primarily a learning tool. Along with a special section devoted to Social Enterprise, this document will address seven critical areas of capacity that are at the foundation of healthy organizations. They are: 1. Strategic Planning Do you have a well-articulated strategic plan to support your organization s mission? 2. Management/Leadership Do you have an executive staff experienced in nonprofit management? 3. Board Development Does your board provide strong direction and support with enough knowledge about the nonprofit culture? 4. Human Resources Do you have a solid plan for recruiting, training, developing and retaining staff? 5. Fund Development Do you have diversified funding sources, a secure donor management system, organizational fundraising skills and enough revenue? 6. Financial Management Do you have a sound financial plan, solid systems, and sufficient oversight to manage your financial situation? 7. Marketing and Communications Do you understand your target audience(s) and are you prepared with appropriate messages and materials? 8. Social Enterprise (ONLY FOR THOSE CONTEMPLATING A FOR PROFIT ARM) Will your infrastructure support the development of a profit-generating program in support of your mission? 2

3 STRATEGIC PLANNING We strive to develop organizations with strategic planning processes that reflect the following ideal characteristics: The strategic plan has been developed by a representative group of the organization s key decision makers The strategic plan articulates how the organization s mission is expressed in its programs. The strategic plan links to budget, program plans, timelines, and accountabilities. The strategic plan realistically forecasts the time required to build new programs, which will be financially sustainable and/or produce mission results. The strategic plan addresses anticipated changes in any source of revenue. The strategic plan reflects the current conditions of the social issue being addressed. The strategic plan addresses the needs of all the stakeholders. Performance measurement and evaluation are linked to the strategic plan with targets and benchmarks 3

4 MANAGEMENT LEADERSHIP We strive to develop organizational management leadership that reflects the following ideal characteristics: Management is entrepreneurial, opportunistic and leverage-seeking Management is networked, allied, and influential in the social issue being addressed The organizational structure and decision-making roles are articulated, understood, respected, and designed to support strategy There is a common understanding of the organization s plans, goals and objectives between board and management The current complement of management and board is adequate to address fundraising goals without neglecting other programmatic activities The organization relies on a strong management team and not just the Executive Director There is a succession plan for key management activities 4

5 BOARD DEVELOPMENT We strive to develop organizations with boards that reflect the following ideal characteristics: The organization is able to attract talented board resources Board roles and expectations are made clear from the beginning of engagement The board effectively participates in strategic planning, is deployed to support strategic goals and is accountable for organizational outcomes The board works well with management from clear roles The board monitors the organization s progress visà-vis the strategic plan and acts effectively to reevaluate and adjust as conditions change Board composition is sufficient to accomplish stated goals Meeting schedule matches the organization s business cycle and is frequent enough to ensure board orientation to the organization 5

6 HUMAN RESOURCES We strive to develop organizations that with human resource systems that reflect the following ideal characteristics: The organization is able to attract talented staff in a timely manner There is adequate, experienced staff with nonprofit and entrepreneurial skills, as well as market knowledge Human resources policies require staff to be regularly evaluated and rewarded There are up-to-date job descriptions and goals and objectives for all positions Wages are sufficient to attract and retain key managers The management and staff are committed to professional development The budget includes a reasonable expenditure for regular professional development The organization is able to forecast emerging human resources needs 6

7 FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT We strive to develop organizations that with financial management processes that reflect the following ideal characteristics: The organization has a clear financial plan for sustaining new programs and increasing capacity in the long-term The organizational sustainability factors are understood, easily described and have the commitment of the organization Managers are familiar with the cash flow cycle, cash flow requirements and cash flow status Resources are earmarked for realizing increased activity targets Financial management is integrated with budgeting, decision-making and strategic planning The current budget has been reviewed, debated and approved by the board of directors The books are maintained on an accrual basis and information on cash flow, profitability and capitalization is generated by the system 7

8 FUND DEVELOPMENT We strive to develop organizations with fund development strategies that reflect the following ideal characteristics: The organization s funding is diversified and from multiple sources There is a well-documented donor management system to track prospects and existing donors There are well-developed internal fundraising skills with access to external expertise when needed There are well-developed systems for long-term planning including; revenue generation and cost and effectiveness of fundraising strategies There is a commitment to revenue generation with an understanding of innovative models like causerelated marketing, fee for service and retailing, etc. Managers are held accountable for revenue generation 8

9 MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS We strive to develop organizations with marketing and communications activities that reflect the following ideal characteristics: There is a plan that describes the value of service to target audiences and how the organization s strategic goals are aligned to support this value. The plan describes the stakeholders' needs that are being served The plan assesses the enduring nature of these needs The plan is well-informed about the social issue being addressed and the environment in which the organization operates The plan speaks to the need for the organization s service(s) The organization is widely known in the community and viewed in a positive light The organization maintains strong relationships with key partners and stakeholders in the community Management and board members can speak to stakeholder needs, value of the service, and the social issue being addressed 9

10 SOCIAL ENTERPRISE We strive to develop social enterprises that reflect the following ideal characteristics: The organization has a plan to reach financial sustainability within a measurable timeframe. The organization can successfully balance the social mission with the enterprise The organization has an adequate budget to support the social mission as well as the enterprise (e.g. employee support, additional management, etc. The organization has a strategic plan that addresses the business systems required to support growth in a managed way The organization has a strong board with strong business skills as well as knowledge of nonprofit culture The organization has rigorous accounting systems to manage the business, revenue expenses and profit The organization has a diversified staff with adequate skill sets in both social services and business management The organization has identified adequate staff and resources for business development, sales and marketing The organization has access to advisors who are subject-matter experts in the enterprise field and business management 10

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