All of the Nonprofit Navigation Sessions for the Midwest Center’s “30 in 30” Celebration during the month of June will focus on the topic of organizational capacity building.
Our first session will focus on considering how we need to consider capacity and capacity building from the perspective of a nonprofit organization’s life stage. It is unreasonable to expect a new startup nonprofit to exhibit the capacity of a thirty-year-old mature organization, just as it is not helpful to the older organization to benefit from capacity-building approaches that help start-ups. During this session, which will be presented and facilitated by center director, Dave Renz, we will introduce a “stage-based framework for understanding nonprofit capacity” (developed by Susan Kenny Stevens), discuss how this framework can be used by nonprofits to assess the alignment of their level organizational capacity with the organization’s overall stage of development, and share a self-assessment and some key resources that nonprofit leaders can use to assess their capacity and the forms of capacity building that are likely to be of value. We will wrap up with a brief discussion during which we will ask participants to share their own experiences with these kinds of assessments and discuss what has worked well for them.