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The Organizational Capacity toolbox is intended to share ideas and tools for executive directors and other non-profit leaders.


Developing an Organizational Capacity Strategy may be the most important role for a non-profit executive.  Capacity leads to improved mission delivery and includes elements of effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability.

LSN considers the following the key elements of Organizational Capacity include:  Organization Design, Operational Excellence, Volunteer Programming and Talent Management.

Key Documents:

Key Messages:

  • Make the time to document and lead an Organizational Capacity Strategy.
  • Own a Volunteer Vision.  This requires an understanding of your underlying beliefs about volunteers.  LSN can host a Volunteer Vision Workshop for your Staff or Leadership Team.  Volunteer management requires quality leadership…a capable volunteer manager and leaders with vision.  They need to be trained and supported.  Volunteer coordinators can be full or part-time, paid or unpaid…but there needs to be a designated role.
  • Insist that Work Processes be established and assessed against Best Practices.  LSN facilitates the development of a Work Process Masterplan and can train your organization to document and improve Work Processes.
  • Understand and role model the characteristics of high-performing organizations.  See Characteristics of High-Performing Non-Profits.
  • You can strengthen your mission delivery with volunteer programming and other high-performance management tools (process management, organization design).