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Nonprofit Capacity Assessment

Many Indiana nonprofits find themselves in need of Capacity Building and Technical Assistance to respond to the challenges and opportunities facing them. However, the meanings of these concepts vary widely and grantmakers find it difficult to develop grant opportunities that effectively meet the needs of nonprofits.

To develop a common understanding of capacity building and technical assistance, we are surveying several waves of Indiana nonprofits about their capacity building and technical assistance needs.

In Phase I, completed in 2007, we surveyed 91 charities at the request of the Indiana Grantmakers Alliance and Lumina Foundation for Education.

In Phase II, completed in 2010, we surveyed almost 400 arts and culture organizations at the request of the Indiana Arts Commission.

Subsequent phases will include nonprofits responding to our 2002 Indiana nonprofit survey and may include other segments of the nonprofit sector in Indiana.

About the Nonprofit Capacity Assessment Survey

A broad-based Project Advisory Board is working with the project team to create linkages to related and complementary efforts, identify key policy implications of the survey findings, and insure effective dissemination of results as they become available. The survey is based on our 2002 Indiana Nonprofit Survey by asking some of the same questions.

Information from the survey will:

  • Assure Indiana nonprofits that Indiana grantmakers have solid information about the capacity building challenges Indiana nonprofits face and about the utility of key strategies for addressing these challenges
  • Aid Indiana grantmakers in developing a framework for appropriate grantmaking strategies to address needs for capacity building and technical assistance
  • Demonstrate to Indiana policy makers (Phase III) how major management and organizational practices have changed for Indiana nonprofits since the benchmark survey in 2002
  • Facilitate more effective collaboration among Indiana nonprofits and between Indiana grantmakers and the nonprofits they support

Key topics include:

  • Management challenges: Includes questions about the extent of challenges in managing specific aspects of operations and governance, human resources, marketing, networking and advocacy, financial resources, and information technology to assess capacity building needs in these areas
  • Types of assistance: Includes questions about the relative utility of various types of funding, technical assistance, and peer assistance in addressing major types of management challenges and capacity building needs
  • Organizational components: Includes questions about the types of organizational components currently in place
  • General information: Includes questions about the year of establishment, mission, most important programs/activities, changes in demands for services/programs, and whether involved in formal collaborations or informal networks
  • Human & financial resources: Includes questions on paid staff, use and importance of volunteers, amount of revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities, changes in these, reliance on major revenue sources, and whether any revenues from specific sources.