Measuring how you do what you do with the Impact Capacity Assessment Tool

“Organizational capacity” is a term that has a unique definition in the nonprofit world, and quite frequently stirs fear in both staff and board members. At its core, organizational capacity is the nonprofit’s level of ability to pursue and meet its mission. By measuring organizational capacity, a nonprofit can assess organizational health to get to the underlying root problems hiding behind symptoms. The process, when done correctly, creates stakeholder buy-in and positions the organization to be more strategic with limited resources.

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But completing the assessment isn’t enough: organizations seeking true transformation must make sense of the results, design an action plan, and implement changes…which is where the Nonprofit Help Center comes in.

Working with us, you will introduce organization-wide learning that will jump start the process of positive change across six key domains: leading, learning, resource generation, planning, managing, and financial oversight. We use the Impact Capacity Assessment Tool (or “iCAT”), an industry-standard nonprofit assessment tool developed by Algorithm, to analyze your organization’s capacity, where it stands in its life cycle, and develop a suite of recommendations to prioritize your capacity-building efforts.

iCAT Findings

The iCAT on its own offers four outputs:

- An overall Capacity Score plus individual capacity and sub-capacity scores based on equal weighting of all iCAT respondents (your staff and board)
- Estimate of the Organizational Capacity Stage
- Ten capacity-building recommendations on the priority challenges
- Summary of capacity building history and recommendations for a capacity building plan.

See a sample iCAT report here.

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Getting the Most out of the iCAT

Organizations may opt to perform this level of analysis with us and stop here, or can add on a board presentation, a debrief with the executive director, a capacity-building workshop, or more with the help of NHC.

Typical outcomes of the iCAT include targeted training for key staff, strategic planning initiatives, development of refined performance assessment approaches, scenario planning, and more.

Many of our clients opt to concurrently use the Merit Nonprofit Professional Development learning platform with their iCAT experience. Merit is mapped to the iCAT's 27 capacity areas and is the perfect complement to full-team engagement in the capacity-building effort.