Capacity building is the practice of strengthening nonprofits through activities intended to increase the effectiveness and impact of the organization, rather than through development of new programs.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Consumer Voices for Coverage supports consumer health advocacy coalitions in 12 states. The program identified the following six core components of advocacy, and directed funds for capacity building towards each:
- coalition building,
- generating grassroots support,
- analyzing health policy proposals,
- designing and implementing health policy campaigns,
- crafting media and communication strategies,
The evaluation by Mathematica Policy Research found that funding capacity building increased five of the six core advocacy components measured. Fundraising was the least-improved advocacy component, and the authors conclude increasing levels of fundraising may require different strategies.
The authors propose that funders need to address three main elements of organizational capacity: knowledge, infrastructure, and resources. Each requires different types of interventions.
Evaluation of Consumer Voices for Coverage: Strengthening State Advocacy Networks to Expand Health Coverage
- 1. State Policy-Makers' Views on the Role of Consumer Advocates in Health Policy Discussions
- 2. Building State-Level Advocacy Networks
- 3. Building Advocacy Capacity
- 4. Summary of Focus Group Sessions at the 2008 Annual Grantee Meeting
- 5. Leadership Team Member Organizations and Coalition Structures
- 6. State Policymaker Views on the Role of Consumer Advocacy Groups in Health Coverage Policy Development
- 7. Defining, Building, and Measuring Capacity