Capacity Building

Investing in future strengths and performance

Capacity building is the process of developing the strength and sustainability of an organization. It’s not just important, it’s essential to the health and longevity of your organization. Capacity building allows you to focus on your mission, not just survival.

What is capacity building?

By definition, capacity building is a measurable improvement in an organization’s ability to accomplish its mission by combining sound management, strong governance, and efforts to assess and deliver results.

Capacity building is a concrete effort to strengthen:

Organizational Infrastructure

This includes facilities (both workplaces and service locations), equipment (computers and other technologies, office supplies, service essentials), and work processes (such as payroll and bookkeeping)

Management and Governance

This refers to the board and executives of organizations

Staff Ability

This includes education and training

Imagine that a retailer can improve its inventory management system to get more products faster for more people. The panel has improved performance by improving internal control. This is the real development.

Why Capacity Building is Important

Improving management practices is a generally accepted principle in the business world. This practice has traditionally been ignored in the non-profit sector, where the focus has been on projects rather than infrastructure.

Without capacity building, there is a risk of directing all energy and attention to the provision of services and the expansion of projects. The lack of this strong foundation can lead to organizational instability. This can manifest itself in old and declining equipment, lack of communication between leadership and employees, and “mission drift” (loss of focus on founding principles).

Don’t get crazy about finding support for the signing program and don’t know if the program is working properly or if it’s the best way to reach the goals of the organization in the long run.

Where to focus capacity-building efforts

Capacity building determines the best way to stay focused and carry out your vision and mission. They build and maintain a strong foundation for the project, measure internal effectiveness and external impact, and plan and maintain strategic relationships. International HR Institute reinforces this grid to assess where development efforts should be directed.

Mission, Vision, and Strategy
Strategic planning
Organizational planning
Strategic Relationships
Collaboration and strategic restructuring
Marketing and communications
Governance and Leadership
Leadership development
Board development
Succession planning
Resource Development
Fund development
Business planning for revenue generation

Service Delivery and Impact
Program design and development
Outcomes measurement
Program analysis and evaluation

Internal Operations and Management
Human resources management
Financial management
Technology and information systems
Facility planning
Legal and risk assessment
Volunteer development

Who gets involved

Capacity building usually begins with board members who can provide innovative ideas and opportunities for expansion. Engaging employees in capacity building is also important. Group learning improves information retention and involves the entire organization in capacity building.

External consultants can also play a role here. It may seem counterintuitive to pay a consultant to contribute to the “back office” work of a programmatic organization, but in return for that investment, more efficient and more accurately targeted services including a more competent and knowledgeable workforce.

Keep schedules and goals realistic

Effective capacity building requires continuous evaluation and attention, but certain capacity-building initiatives have a schedule of months to years. It usually has a one-year timeline that begins with the announcement of the strategy and ends with the collection of evidence of the results after 12 months. The overall outcome of the capacity-building effort should be an overall enhancement of objectives, but more specific improvements are important.

Welcome growth and begin improving your organization

Need help getting started? Schedule a free online Organizational Assessment with International HR Institute. Contact IHRI.