The Nonprofit Capacity Project focuses on the various ways that nonprofit networks, including relationships with other nonprofits, businesses, and government agencies, influence nonprofit capacity. Funded by a National Science Foundation CAREER award, this project surveyed nearly 1000 NGOs, including NGOs on every continent.
The research produced two important outcomes.
- This research developed and tested the Nonprofit Capacities Instrument, a short-self-administered survey designed to measure 8 dimensions of nonprofit capacity: board leadership, operational capacity, mission-orientation, external communication, staff development, financial capacity, adaptive capacity, and strategic planning. The instrument is available to nonprofits in the publication (if you encounter a paywall, just e-mail us and we’ll get you a copy).
Shumate, M., Cooper, K. R., Pilny, A. & Pena-y-Lillo, M. (2017). The nonprofit capacities instrument. Nonprofit Management & Leadership, 28, 155-174. DOI: 10.1002/nml.21276.
In addition, we are currently developing a web-based tool for nonprofits to complete the survey and benchmark their results against our sample of other organizations. We hope to launch this tool in the Summer of 2018.
- This research examined the relationship between the types of collaborations that nonprofits maintain and their capacity. We find that having many robust partnerships with other nonprofits or cross-sector partnerships has no effect on nonprofit capacity. Those results are published in a forthcoming paper (if you encounter a paywall, just e-mail us and we’ll get you a copy):
Shumate, M., Fu, J. S., & Cooper, K. R. (in press). Does cross-sector collaboration lead to higher nonprofit capacity? Journal of Business Ethics.