the problem  

The private sector uses profits to maintain infrastructure, support research and development and improve the skills required to produce growth. The nonprofit sector is structured differently as it is paid through grants to deliver a service and to not profit from the delivery of the service as the intention is to fill a social gap that is not covered by the government. There is not a growth mechanism in the nonprofit business model, therefore they rely upon external funding to build their capacity to remain sustainable.

the solution

Innovating nonprofit capacity building is to borrow from proven and successful disciplines from the private sector and adapt them to the structure and limitations of nonprofit organizations.  This starts with redefining capacity building services to those that describe the business intelligence being sought to fill gaps.  As innovation isn’t about saying, it’s about doing, the approach to innovating capacity building is best done with a holistic approach that includes learning, testing, failing, recovering and becoming so that it results in a changed way one thinks about their work and the outcomes they should expect for themselves.  

the impact

The need for capacity building is critical to establish a foundation that can sustain a mission through infrastructure and process.  Continuing to fund traditional capacity building services will yield the same results we have historically seen that leads to the quest of nonprofit self-preservation.  Whereas introducing newer and different (innovative) capacity building services begins to change the paradigm of what can be expected from the nonprofits seeking funding support.  This opportunity for change is further authenticated when the organizations and its leaders embrace a culture of innovation to then solve the social problems that originally besought their mission.