The Organizational Capacity Assessment Tool

The Organizational Capacity Assessment Tool

A free online tool that helps nonprofits assess their operational capacity and identify strengths and areas for improvement

What is the OCAT?

The Organizational Capacity Assessment Tool (OCAT) is an in-depth, online survey that allows the board, leadership, and staff of a nonprofit to measure how well their organization performs against best practices.

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To administer the survey, you will need to register your organization by launching the tool here, and invite members of your organization to participate within a designated time period. Participants will be asked to provide their view of how well the organization performs along ten dimensions. Once the survey is complete, a unique report is generated that provides an aggregate view of how the respondents believe the organization is performing in areas such as management, marketing, innovation, and strategy.

The insights from the OCAT provide an excellent foundation for conversations and decision making about actions to make the organization stronger.

How does the OCAT work?

The OCAT is designed to be simple to administer and simple to complete. After you’ve registered your organization and set a timeline for completion, respondents will receive a link to the OCAT survey, comprised of questions covering ten fundamental capacity areas.


Debriefing the OCAT results

An important step in using the OCAT is gathering survey participants to discuss the results and their qualitative feedback to the survey. Prior to holding this conversation, it is important that everyone prepares for the discussion. A successful debrief conversation will follow these guidelines:

  • Observe predebrief reflection period.
  • Use the predebrief reflection guide that is provided in your OCAT results material.
  • Agree on debrief-meeting objectives.
  • Develop meeting agenda.
  • Discuss overarching themes.
  • Delve deeper into strengths.
  • Conduct group reflection on problem areas and opportunities to improve.
  • Review areas with least consensus to align perspectives.
  • Determine actionable postdebrief goals and owners to drive priority initiatives.
  • Synthesize meeting takeaways and next steps.


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