Capacity Building

Why Capacity Building

We believe that a healthy nonprofit sector is vital to maintaining the quality of life in a community.

We also believe that nonprofit organizations are most effective when working together, sharing and leveraging resources, and continually striving to improve how they do their work.

Capacity is comprised of the skills, instinctsabilitiesprocesses and resources that organizations and communities need to surviveadapt and thrive in a fast-changing world.”

– Ann Philbin, Ford Foundation

What Is Capacity Building

Capacity Building is the activities that strengthen the infrastructure and operations of nonprofit organizations which ultimately make them more effective, efficient and better able to fulfill their mission.

  • Leadership Capacity – the ability of organizational leaders to inspire, prioritize, make decisions, provide direction, and innovate
  • Adaptive Capacity – the ability of a nonprofit organization to monitor, assess, and respond to internal and external changes
  • Management Capacity – the ability of a nonprofit organization to ensure the effective and efficient use of organizational resources
  • Operational Capacity – the ability of a nonprofit organization to implement key organizational and programmatic functions

Capacity-building is the idea that careful planning and skill-building – around governance, leadership, operations, finances, and partnerships – will improve the abilities of nonprofits not just to survive, but to thrive.


Funded by a grant through the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York, the 2013 OCB Symposium featured an array of speakers that provided select agencies with a guided program on capacity-building for nonprofit business management.