There were still some unanswered questions?

What is capacity building?

Capacity building is the work of strengthening the infrastructure of an organization so that it has the capacity to provide its vital services as needed. 

An organization has to assess its capacity to fulfill its mission before it can make critical decisions. Does it have an effective governance model in place? Does it have a strong board whose members act as advocates for the school in the community and who bring other supporters to the table? Is the revenue stream of the school diversified? Does it include not just tuition, but fundraising and investment earnings as well? Does it have the staff and systems in place to meet the needs of the school? Are the finances sound? Does the head of school have a solid understanding of what she needs to know to make day to day and long-term decisions? These are examples of capacity building questions. 

Often, a school will launch a fundraising appeal or begin a building campaign without taking a step back to examine the structure in place to take on such a project or the impact of the project on the overall strategic vision of the school. The result is an appeal or campaign that may raise some money, but may have raised two or three times more if an investment in planning and staff had been made up front. 

There are many consultants who offer services such as campaign feasibility studies and annual fund segmentation, but these services alone are only effective in the short-term. They are small projects that should be part of a long-term plan to strengthen the school well into the future.

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