Capacity Building: How You Can Grow Your Organisation

Capacity-building: How You Can Grow Your Organisation

Accelerator Team   |   06 December 2018

One of the primary offerings of Atma is the ability to identify the key areas of improvements required by education NGOs in the development sector through our Accelerator Programme. Not only do we help NGOs improve their impact and grow their beneficiary base, but we also help them become sustainable for years to come. Read on to understand how capacity-building could help your organisation.

What is Capacity-building?

Capacity-building is the process by which an organisation obtains, retains and improves the skills and knowledge crucial to accomplishing a set of strategic objectives - which are most often to build a scalable and sustainable NGO.

Capacity-building is the backbone building work that often isn’t as visible as the programmatic work of an organisation. Imagine that there is a restaurant which caters to 100 customers a day. They are successful but have run out of space and so decide to expand. They add an equal area to the serving section of the restaurant and can now cater to 200 customers a day. But they don’t change anything in their kitchen. Do you think this would work? Most likely not. The restaurant would face operational challenges in serving 200 customers when at full capacity. So work needs to be done to upgrade the kitchen as well. That work is what we call capacity-building. It’s the foundational work that needs to be done by an organisation to make sure it can serve its customers well.

Why do you need it?

Capacity-building or organisation development can help NGOs with ambitions of growth to realise their dreams. It improves sustainability, strength and scalability of your NGO.

For example, if NGO ‘A’ is operating in one area of Ranchi and has witnessed that their programme tremendously benefits the people it works with, it is only natural for them to want to run this programme in other parts of the city, state or even country to benefit a wider set of people. Unfortunately, the singular focus it takes to ensure the programme’s success could also be the reason the NGO lacks the requisite skills to scale up. This is where Atma’s capacity-building Accelerator can help. Atma’s team of experienced consultants work closely with the leadership team of NGO ‘A’ and help them acquire the right skills and knowledge to empower them to achieve their growth goals.

How can Atma help you?

Atma partners with education-focused NGOs for a 2-3 year period as part of the “Accelerator” programme and assists them across 10 different ‘Organisation Development’ (OD) areas. Atma executes projects in these OD areas based on your NGO’s priorities, focussing on building the capacity of your NGO such that you can operate those new systems without Atma’s support. In other words, we work to make ourselves redundant.

We start by assisting your organisation to create or clarify key pillars of success such as your vision and mission. We also help you define your problem statement which, coupled with the vision and mission, becomes your team’s North Star when it comes to making crucial strategic decisions. We also assess your organisation’s readiness to scale up, through a diagnostic tool called the Life Stage Survey. The final step, before we begin the partnership, is to articulate a 5-year goal and co-create a strategy plan for your organisation. This strategy plan guides Atma to decide which projects we take up with each NGO.

What are the 10 Organisation Development areas?

The 10 OD areas in which Atma builds capacity are essentially the different spheres that a robust organisation such as yours needs to be mindful of. They are:

  1. Strategy
  2. Monitoring & Evaluation
  3. Fundraising
  4. Human Resources
  5. Program Standardisation & Delivery
  6. Administrative systems
  7. Finance
  8. Leadership
  9. Marketing
  10. Governance

What are elements of an OD area?

Each OD area goes into the details of what capacity building means & we measure an NGO’s performance across each of these as part of the Life Stage Survey (LSS)

Past partners of Atma’s Accelerator

In Mumbai, we have had the pleasure of working with 55+ organisations such as Muktangan, Sol’s ARC, Bright Future, Avanti Fellows, Udaan and Oscar Foundation to name a few.

In Pune, we have worked with 7 organisations such as Life-Lab, iTeach Schools and Step Up Foundation to name a few.

If you are an education NGO in Mumbai or Pune looking to grow your organisation at a fast pace, come, be a partner of the Atma Accelerator! We're looking for new partners for the coming year (2019 onward) to give you the hand-holding support to scale your NGO! Applications are now open! 

Apply here: 

<   View All Case Studies