Over the last 7 years, The Tindall Foundation has funded the delivery of capacity-building to 130 small community organisations in Auckland, Northland (since 2009), Wellington (since 2011) and Dunedin (since 2013). Beginning as a pilot (SCOPE), this scheme has been monitored, evaluated and refined, with high levels of both medium and long-term positive outcomes identified.
Over the last 5 years, community consultancy organisation, NFP Works Ltd, has managed the delivery of these tailored short-term capacity-building packages to The Tindall Foundation funded organisations
Following an annual The Tindall Foundation-administered application process, advertised only to small The Tindall Foundation-funded Auckland/Northland community organisations, NFP Works carries out an organisational review with the approved organisations and works with them to develop an achievable capacity-building package, delivered by a team of appropriately-skilled consultants, some of whom are generalist community consultants and many of whom are skilled in particular topics, such as IT, human resources, or financial systems.
The capacity-building package would typically include one of more of the following topics:
- strategic planning
- organisation structure, including governance/management
- operational systems and processes
- financial systems, including fundraising and other income-generating strategies/skills
- marketing, including fundraising and other income-generating strategies/skills
- information technology
- human resources, staff retention and staff management
- research and evaluation
- other capacity building topics, as appropriate
NFP Works aims for completion of the package within 6 months. Monitoring and evaluation of outcomes takes place at the end of the scheme and is repeated to assess maintenance and further gains a year later. This evaluation has shown this short-term injection to be both effective and extremely cost-effective in building organisational capacity and achieving improved organisational outcomes.
3. Monitoring of Outcomes
Evaluation of the pilot scheme (SCOPE) identified that it provided positive long-term outcomes for community organisations. Further The Tindall Foundation monitoring of outcomes for the NFP Works delivered scheme indicated that it has continued to be highly successful and continues to improve.
Results from Year 1
The results of Year 1 monitoring showed that, on average, the organisations attribute a high level of gains in all the key target areas for the capacity-building. Organisations were asked to rate the positive changes resulting from the capacity-building support and to grade them on a scale from 5 to 1, where 5 = Greatly and 1 = Not at all. The results appear in Table 1 below. All of the organisations reported benefitting from the capacity-building with none recording a score of less than 3 for any aspect. The greatest gains related to purpose, stability, direction and improved services.
Responses during 2009, 2010 and 2011 were consistently positive with continued improvement in Years 2 and 3. Longer-term follow-up of 2009 organisations, carried out in February 2011 and February 2012, revealed that all respondents responded 4 or 5 when asked whether they had maintained the gains and continued to thrive, including increasing income, staff and volunteers.
It is clear from the quantifiable responses, and probably even more so from the overwhelmingly glowing qualitative responses below, that this capacity-building scheme has been very highly valued by small community organisations.
Table 1: Small community organisations’ gains from capacity-building (5=Greatly, 1=Not at all)
|Because of the capacity-building support, our organisation…||Average Response|
(n = 9)
(n = 11)
(n = 8)
|1. Has become clearer about the organisation’s purposes and direction||4.25||4.36||4.25|
|2. Has become better at identifying problems and acting appropriately to resolve them||3.63||3.90||3.75|
|3. Has improved relationships within the organisation (e.g. amongst governance, management and delivery personnel)||3.75||4.22||4.25|
|4. Has developed better organisational systems||3.78||3.90||4.38|
|5. Has more effective governance and/or management||4.00||3.82||4.63|
|6. Has improved its ability to deliver a service based on the organisation’s intended purpose||3.63||4.00||3.83|
|7. Has improved the quality and effectiveness of its services to the community||3.44||4.22||4.00|
|8. Has developed the capability to build on the gains achieved through capacity-building support||4.00||4.45||4.38|
|9. Has become more stable (for example, in terms of financial management, funding and/or personnel)||4.13||4.00||4.13|
4. Real Examples:
Real examples of impacts of The Tindall Foundation’s Capacity-Building Scheme
Violence reduction organisation
- Getting clearer on our strategic mission, goals and direction
- Radically updating our constitution and governance and management structure to reflect more accurately where the organisation is now
- Increasing the Board focus and intentionality on governance role and giving greater management responsibility to staff
- We now have the right people on the right seats on the bus. Some Board members recognized they were unable to make the commitment and new blood has come in with more appropriate skills and fresh energy
- The reconfiguration of staff has strengthened our resource, works better and provides greater consistency and efficiency.
Community Safety/Youth Diversion Initiative
- Governance roles and relationship with operations. Recruitment of new committee has brought in desired skills and commitment.
- Operational focus – clarity of services and capacity to provide excellent services and programmes
- Strategic plan – simplified and updated with achievable outcomes
Child Safety Organisation
Thank you for support through the capacity building scheme & NFP Works. It was a highlight for us in 2010 and enables us to be more effective going forward in the protection of children against sexual exploitation. Much of our focus is around public awareness, education and advocacy and involvement in this project significantly enhances our capacity to deliver.
- A clarification of purpose
- Greater alignment between Board and staff in communicating key messages
- An improvement in the ability of the organisation to communicate effectively, including revised website
‘The entire exercise has, in fact, saved us money with [our organisation] now being able to manage the website in-house, appeal to volunteers and donors, educate readers and send up-to-date news via regular email updates.’
National Child Development Organisation
- Changing our legal identity has made it so much easier for other trusts and community organisations (and individuals) to find out more information about us
- Streamlining the governance structure and reporting lines has made it easier to develop programmes and initiate projects to meet community needs (e.g. delivering the information at an age-appropriate level to 1000+ boys; the programme was approved, developed and delivered in much faster time-frame)
- Changed roles allowed us to stay on top of emerging research and introduce it through our presentations in a more structured and timely process
A Youth Mentoring Organisation for at-risk boys
- Completed a thorough review of the organisation’s systems, and consolidated them into a user friendly set of Policies and Procedures delivered in a readily updated word format.
- Provided a framework for quality systems which will meet the requirements of CYFS for funding of service providers.
- Aided in focusing our Board on a number of important governance issues.
- Assisted in the appointment of a new CEO
- Reviewed our branding and facilitated the development of a new logo for use across all mediums.
- Provided a highly practical funding and funding applications framework.
- Designed and provided a highly professional funding pack in both printed and electronic formats
Outcomes and outputs
- As a result of capacity-building, increased annual turnover from $20k to $630k and greatly increased community services
- Over 3065 participants in activities and programmes each year
- 9,195 volunteer hours per year
- Know regionally and nationally as a “leader in the area of community development”
- Longevity of our programmes – e.g. Youth Group successfully running for over 5 years
- 8% of volunteers moving into paid employment and/or higher education
- And positive feedback – for example from a parent who talked about how safe and trusting of the leadership the children feel in our youth programme. A trust and safety not always experienced (with other organisations).