Building Organizational Capacity On the Ground
Otis Monroe, President and CEO of the Monroe Foundation, was a recent guest on the Nonprofit “U” radio blog talk show. Nonprofit “U” is an online forum where nonprofit stakeholders can discuss the latest developments in the sector and increase their capacity to serve their clients and build sustainable communities.
Valerie F. Leonard, an expert in community and organizational development served as the host. The episode streamed live from BlogTalkRadio.com/nonprofit_u and listeners were given the opportunity to call in with questions and participate in live chats. Nonprofit professionals, community advocates, developers and other community stakeholders were especially encouraged to call in and share their stories. The archived podcast is available on BlogTalkRadio.com, Valeriefleonard.com/NonprofitU, iTunes Podcast Chart, Blubrry and Stitcher.
Organizational capacity refers to organizations’ potential to marshal their human, financial and other resources to effect positive change in the communities and clients they serve. Organizational capacity is impacted by a number of factors, including leadership, the organization’s stage of development and changes in the environment, to name a few.
“There are a lot of organizations out there that do good work, but are challenged when it comes to making a long term impact on the surrounding community”, Monroe said. “Our job at the Monroe Foundation is to help the organizations address their challenges and then connect them with funders and other resources to give them staying power.”
Monroe shared lessons learned in his experiences working with African American-led organizations to build capacity, and called on organizations to engage in the Chicago Community Trust’s On the Table discussions to brainstorm ways of tackling community problems.
The Monroe Foundation was formed in 1991 to provide technical assistance in starting community and economic development projects within low-income communities, and provide emerging groups with seed grants through the PACT Project (Partnership For Assisting Community Transformation).