Capacity building is becoming an increasingly important topic in the nonprofit sector, and despite this, many organizations are still trying to define exactly what it means to build its capacity.
Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO), an organization devoted to bringing together grantmakers for the purpose of reshaping “the way philanthropy operates.” 1 has defined Capacity Building as,
“The funding and technical assistance necessary to help nonprofits increase specific capabilities to deliver stronger programs, take risks, build connections, innovate, and iterate.” 2
Meanwhile, the Washington Statewide Capacity Collaborative has defined Capacity building as,
“Any service that enhances the organization’s internal effectiveness at achieving mission sustainability — in other words, services which strengthen the foundation or engine of the organization, not its specific programs.” 2
Both of these definitions help demonstrate that building the capacity of nonprofit organizations allows those organizations to meet their missions more effectively. Through capacity building training programs and initiatives, nonprofit organizations will have the opportunity to improve their practices, to create more effective results, and to become a better resource for their community.