Cabutra's perspective on successful organization management, and therefore our approach to successful capacity building, is maybe best summed up in the lyrics of an old spiritual tune, Dem Bones:
"Hip bone connected to the back bone; back bone connected to the
shoulder bone; shoulder bone connected to the neck bone...." (and so on).
While most organizations or projects want help with fundraising, typically followed by communications, we at Cabutra take a more wholistic approach to capacity building. We start by assessing all aspects of the organization and its functions, and then offer mentorship and training in each area that needs it.
For example, when reviewing an organization's fundraising efforts, we may see that the purpose and focus of the field/advocacy programs need to be re-thought to better reflect the organization's mission. This, in turn, would likely enhance the organization's ability to tell a compelling story about its work. With a better story to tell, we may see avenues for expanding where the organization tells its story. All of this will ultimately lead to more successful fundraising.
Or, we may determine that the organization's Board of Directors is not as engaged as it can, or should, be in securing needed financial and institutional resources. Therefore, we may want to conduct a training for the Board members on how they can support the organization's "resource development" in more ways than just asking for money. As well, we can mentor staff on working more effectively with Board members to establish each members' annual plan for helping secure needed organization resources (financial, skills, community connections, etc.).
In short, through mentorship and training, we want to support our partner organizations as a whole, so they can expand and strengthen their overall capacity. Through instructional and experiential learning, Aprovechar will provide a fresh perspective, time-tested approaches and numerous examples on how to enhance any and all aspects of your organization's planning, fundraising, communications, operations, and governance – because even one weak "bone" can affect the entire "body."
Below are some specifics about the type of mentorship and training we can provide in what we consider to be the four major functions of a nonprofit organization. Please contact us to discuss how we can support your organization.
We can guide and support your team through the development of an annual work plan, with its associated program objectives and outcomes, and related income and expense budgets.
It may also be timely for you to write a multi-year strategic or business plan. These plans involve everything from designing or re-thinking your programmatic niche and strategies, to identifying your best strategies for securing your financial and other needed resources, to your plan for enhancing the staff's skills and the organization's infrastructure.
Finally, events should be a part of every organization's activities, whether it be field trips, donor visits, press conferences, annual meetings, or the like. We can help you identify objectives and expectations, develop agendas and invitations, and manage the event's logistics and budgets.
What drives most organizations to seek capacity building support is a desire to increase its income. As Cabutra sees it, fundraising is part of a larger effort to "develop" the financial, skills, and community contact "resources" needed by an organization. This is why most organizations refer to their fundraising coordinator as the Development Director.
We anticipate that the capacity building work plan we establish with each organization will focus heavily on resource development as a whole, including the critical work of fundraising. And any good fundraising plan should address how to secure financial support from three main sources: individuals, institutions (grants from foundations being most common) and businesses.
We look forward to training and mentoring your team in securing support from members, patrons, foundations, businesses, agencies, events, bequests, stock gifts, and the like.
Storytelling for social change is the process of inspiring changes in attitudes, values, and behaviors within your targeted constituencies or communities.
Our communications mentoring and training focuses on three overarching strategies, all with an eye toward strengthening your pubic profile and brand:  what story should you tell for a given purpose, outcome or audience;  where and how should you tell it (online, in person, etc.); and  who's the best person/people to tell it (staff, Board, partners, supporters, etc.).
We can coach and assist you in developing a full suite of communications products for your organization: print and digital publications, news and social media, videography and radio broadcasts, and more. Equally valuable, we are ready to train/mentor you in all aspects - from design to delivery - of implementing these strategies and products.
Sometimes, what's holding an organization back from moving to its "next level" is having a smooth sailing ship. This is where good operations and governance comes into play.
While activities related to programs, fundraising and communications are the most obvious functions of an organization, having a well defined set of standard operating procedures, a well functioning Board, and an appropriately deep well of technologies are what make an organization perform well.
Operations and governance fall into that often troublesome category of "important, but not urgent." Cabutra can help your organization both see the importance of these foundation-strengthening practices, and fully develop these systems so your team is fully supported in its common mission.