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Community Development > Technical Capability Model

Technical Capability Model

Whenever, wherever change happens, there's technology.

Leaders and thinkers in business are examining and focusing their research on the area of capacity building for nonprofits. Many believe that nonprofits must build the capacity within their organization to optimize their impact in local communities and successfully deliver their mission. To stay ahead of this trend, social venture capital firms such as Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP) are making large scale investments in nonprofits to increase their internal capacity.

In partnership with McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm, VPP identified seven key dimensions for nonprofits to assess their capabilities and organizational capacity:

  • Vision
  • Strategy
  • Organizational Skills
  • Human Resources
  • Systems and Infrastructures
  • Organizational Structure
  • Culture

Digital Network Group believes that identifying these key dimensions is only one part of the solution for non-profits. DNG takes current research further, posing the question: What are the specific actions an organization can undertake to increase their capacity in each of these identified dimensions to transform themselves into a world class organization?

DNG's study seeks to address that question for the Systems and Infrastructures element of building organizational capacity. The objective of our research is to build a technical capability model that guides both large and small nonprofits in their use, application, and investment in information technology. Our goal is to produce an assessment tool and pragmatic roadmap that serves as an IT strategy customized for the core business processes and inherent constraints of the nonprofit community. By improving operations and increasing capacity, NPOs gain the ability to redirect funding resources to expand existing service programs or enhance quality of service.

A secondary benefit of our research is the ability to measure the return on the investments made in capacity building. The development of an assessment tool to measure technical capacity, cross-correlated to an organization's growth metrics (increase in revenue, customers or quality of service) is an objective, quantifiable benefit that is often elusive in today's environment.

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