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JLBC: Leadership

JLBC: Leadership

Paradoxically, funders have failed to recognize and support the solid two-way relationship between program success and organizational strength and sustainability. Usually, charities have found it easier to secure funds for a project with tangible outcomes rather than find resources to develop themselves internally. However, if the capacity of the non-profit is weak, programs and services will suffer. Good evidence suggests that corporate capacity matters in achieving programmatic outcomes. Fortunately, more and more funders recognize this critical link by developing capacity-building grants to support their grantees.

JLBC Cadets, what is Capacity Building?

JLBC Cadets Capacity building is perhaps one of the most fashionable yet most minor understood terms in the charity sector. There has been a lack of shared definition and understanding of its features and essential elements. Funders talk about capacity-building programs, while capacity builders might refer to capacity-building engagements. Yet, charities may refer to it as a set of actions or processes that accomplish a goal.

There have been definitions given for capacity building. Some have referred to it as a term that describes a wide range of knowledge, activities, and resources that non‐profits need to be successful, while others have focused on defining the process of capacity building. There seem to be two more commonly cited definitions throughout the literature. The ability of non-profit organizations to fulfill their missions effectively a wide range of capabilities, resources, and knowledge that non-profits need to be effective. Some notions of capacity extend beyond charities. Capacity can also be built at the community and individual level, and therefore reports need to include these concepts. The process by which people, organizations, groups, and communities increase their abilities to solve problems, perform core functions, define and achieve objectives, and understand and deal with their development needs in a broad context and sustainable manner. There is a lack of agreement within the capacity-building community as to what exactly it is. This lack of understanding around capacity building elements and features can be enhanced through a greater focus on where capacity building efforts are directed – individuals, organizations, geographical or interest communities.

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