Implementing a Statewide Capacity Building Program

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facilitated by Misty Avila from Aspiration

Background & Intro

Misty manages capacity building program at Aspiration; help small NPOs in CA. Refer people to resources or create them. Focus on rural areas.

"Anyone here for different reason?"



  • Needs assessment
  • Finding like minded people to network with
  • In depth interactions
  • Opportunity to trade tips: trust that sharing will be respected
  • Everyone has ownership, givers and takers; holistic approach to learning and sharing
  • Fundraising, development angle
  • OpenOakland example of forgetting to involve community.

What is Capacity Building?

  • Everyone has a different take on what capacity building means.
  • What are your needs right now? i.e., not about technology per se.
  • Need to listen to what the problems are, rather than deliver same package each time.
  • What is capacity building? (see flip chart)
  • Facilitating learning, not prescriptive.
  • Focus on goal, not technology.

Capacity Building Models

  • Model - is it missionary or group therapy?
  • Circuit riders was based on missionary model, evangelizing technology.
  • Riders were part of community, trust and freely shared, but didn't scale.
  • Essentially community organizing, building relationships.
  • Not parachute in (eg with training).
  • Coaching and confidence building.
  • Sustainable skills.
  • Differences in design, long or short term, formal or informal.
  • Hearing from npos who have received capacity building from Aspiration: rather than "we need to be on social media", thinking about needs, goals and planning; developing a communications strategy.
  • Long process, investment.

What do you report to the funder?

  • Case study.
  • Web analytics.
  • Tracking network development, such as the toolkit that Greenlining created and shared with their npo network.
  • Example of evaluation strategies, developmental or formative.