Organizational Capacity: Assessment to Action - Philanthropy University



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The following course, offered by NovoEd, will help you improve your skills and achieve your professional goals. During the program you will study different subjects which are deemed to be useful for those who want to enhance their professional career. Sign up for more information!

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What you'll learn on the course


Course programme

Backing an organization's programmatic work through thoughtful assessment of its capacity is a critical step towards making nonprofits stronger and more effective.

In this course, students will analyze their organization's current capacity and prioritize ways to further impact. Through a mix of lectures and interviews with real nonprofit leaders, students will design their own capacity building plans--using actual data from survey results--to increase the effectiveness of their organizations. The Organizational Capacity Assessment Tool (OCAT), developed by McKinsey & Company and Venture Philanthropy Partners, will be used.

What You'll Do:

    • Identify common obstacles to building capacity in organizations and brainstorm ideas for overcoming those challenges.

    • Understand how stakeholder buy-in for internal assessments can build organizational capacity and a stronger foundation overall.

    • Learn how other nonprofit leaders use assessment data to increase the impact, effectiveness, and reach of their organizations.

Weekly Topics:

Week 0: On-boarding and Team Formation
Week 1: Why Capacity Building Matters
Week 2: Preparing & Completing the OCAT, Part 1
Weeks 3 & 4: Preparing & Completing the OCAT, Part 2
Week 5: Acting on Your Data
Week 6: Execution & Learning from Failures


Approximately 2-3 hours per week watching videos, readings articles, participating in class discussion, and completing individual and/or team assignments. You will need a computer that allows you to watch the video lectures and provides the ability to upload all your assignments.

Statement of Accomplishment:

*To receive a Statement of Accomplishment, you will need to complete 3 out of the 4 weekly assignments, including the administration of the OCAT with your organization, or completion of a similar project. Administering the OCAT typically involves getting 4-15 key leaders to spend 60-90 minutes completing the OCAT, and 2-3 hours debriefing the results.

More Information & Next Offering:

Philanthropy University is a non-degree, diploma or credit granting initiative powered by Berkeley-Haas. Philanthropy U is the concept developer and sponsor of the initiative. Learners are not entitled to earn college or other academic credit.

Additional information

The Instructor Doug Scott, Senior Expert at McKinsey & Company Former Partner, The New Teacher Project