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SVP International

Nonprofit Capacity Building

What Is Nonprofit Capacity Building?

At SVP we define capacity building as the development of core skills, management practices, strategies, and systems to enhance an organization’s effectiveness, sustainability and ability to fulfill its mission.

What’s Our Approach?

Offer Resources. Social Venture Partners Minnesota builds organizational capacity by providing general operating funds, skilled volunteers, professional consultants, and leadership development/management training opportunities.

Listen. We recognize that nonprofit practitioners are the program experts, and we aim to complement that expertise by working in partnership with those organizations. Therefore, the first step is listening to what they need.

Provide Tools. Our Investees use the Organization Capacity Assessment Tool (OCAT) designed by McKinsey & Company as the first step in mapping out a plan. The OCAT is self-administered – typically completed by the Executive Director and key leadership from the staff and board. The OCAT helps the Investee identify and prioritize the capacity building areas where they want to focus their efforts. These areas include (but are not limited to):

  • Mission, Vision, Strategy and Planning
  • Board Leadership and Governance
  • Leadership Development
  • Financial Management
  • Information Technology
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Program Outcomes and Evaluation
  • Human Resources
  • Legal Affairs
  • Fund Development

Develop a Plan and Implement It. After the OCAT is complete and analyzed, Investees work with SVP Partners to develop a capacity building plan to define goals and provide a road map for their partnership with SVP. From there we match each Investee with SVP Partners and consultants who can help them reach those goals. Investees meet regularly with a Lead Partner from SVP who helps to manage volunteer projects and acts as an advocate for the organization.

Progress Reports. Annually, Investees revisit their capacity building plans and set new goals. We aim to work with an Investee for three years, help them double their revenue, support increased impact in the community and “graduate” them from SVP as a more sustainable nonprofit.