To support our partners in sorting through the many capacity-building resources available in the field, the Organizational Effectiveness team built the OE Knowledge Center in 2016. The Knowledge Center is a free online knowledge-sharing platform that offers a wide range of resources for nonprofit leaders, organizations, networks, fields, and movements.
In 2018, over 4,600 users accessed the OE Knowledge Center’s resources, totaling almost 13,300 page views. Here are the most-viewed tools of 2018, counting down to the most popular resource for the year!
Top Knowledge Center Resources of 2018
10. Performance Practice (formerly PIOSA) Tool
Leap Ambassadors created The Performance Practice, a set of tools that allow organizations to help drive organizational learning and improvement by self-reflection. Performance Practice was specifically created for social-sector leaders who seek high performance and for funders who want to invest in their grantees partners growth. A complete suite of materials, including a user guide and workbook, is available at no cost.
9. McKinsey & Company’s Organizational Capacity Assessment Tool
McKinsey & Company created the Organizational Capacity Assessment Tool (OCAT) to help nonprofits assess their operational capacity and identify strengths, and areas for improvement. Nonprofit leaders can use the results from this free online and interactive tool to inform their conversations on making their organizations’ marketing, management, innovation, and strategy stronger.
8. Measuring Fundraising Effectiveness
BoardSource, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, BBB Wise Giving Alliance, and GuideStar say it is critical for organizations to invest in a strong fundraising infrastructure. This publication presents a responsible, reasonable way for nonprofits to think about fundraising effectiveness with easy-to-follow diagrams and calculations.
7. Building the Capacity to Innovate
In 2017, The Bridgespan Group and The Rockefeller Foundation surveyed nearly 145 nonprofits on innovation within their organizations. Nearly 80 percent of respondents shared that their organizations aspire to innovate, yet less than half of those surveyed feel their organizations have the ability to do so. In response, this guide was created It features a capacity-building framework, learning modules, a priority-setting worksheet, and planning exercises.
6. Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture
In this publication, Equity in the Center illustrates how organizations can move toward a Race Equity Culture, in which a person’s race has no influence on how they fare in society. Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture provides insights, tactics, and practices that social sector organizations can use to measurably shift organizational culture, operationalize equity, and move from a dominant organizational culture to a Race Equity Culture.
5. Capacity Building Consultant Databases
With a Packard Foundation Organizational Effectiveness grant, the Foundation Center created this spreadsheet with nearly 60 capacity-building consultant directories. Nonprofits looking for external guidance on board governance, executive transition, fundraising and development, strategic planning, and other related topic areas might be interested in checking out this resource.
4. The New Normal: Capacity Building During a Time of Disruption
This report by Adene Sacks, Heather McLeod Grant, and Kate Wilkinson of Open Impact aimed to explain how capacity building needs in the social sector are changing in the current political and economic environment, and how funders can respond. The Open Impact team conducted interviews, surveys, and literature reviews to give a holistic, landscape-view of current needs and trends.
3. Strengthening Nonprofits: Core Concepts in Capacity Building
This publication by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations provides essential tools for grantmakers looking to offer capacity-building support. This includes important “how to’s” on building trust with nonprofits, connecting capacity building to a grantmaking strategy, and assessing the impact of their investments.
2. Making Founder Successions Work
While conventional wisdom claims that a clean break is the best way to ensure a successful nonprofit founder succession, research from The Bridgespan Group found that many nonprofits benefit when they plan an extended role for founders who step down. This SSIR article shares key findings from Bridgespan’s in-depth study of nonprofit founder transitions to help organizations and boards carefully plan for successions.
1. Civicus: Strategic Planning Toolkit
Civicus, a global alliance dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society, prepared this model to guide nonprofits through each step of a strategic planning process. This tool walks organizations through finding the perfect timing for a strategic plan, identifying types of input to receive, building a strategic framework, and considering the internal implications of a plan. It is truly a “one-stop shop” for strategic planning.