Research Brief—Building Non-Profit Capacity: Findings from the Compassion Capital Fund Evaluation

Publication Date: June 15, 2010


Non-profit organizations (NPOs) play a critical role in the provision of a wide array of social and health services. However, because funding sources often stipulate that the funds may only be used for direct service, NPOs are left with limited or no resources to invest in their own organizational needs. To address this gap, the Office of Community Services (OCS) within the Administration for Children and Families established the Demonstration Program within the Compassion Capital Fund (CCF). Between 2006 and 2009, OCS undertook a random assignment evaluation to assess the impact of the CCF Demonstration Program.

The evaluation results provide evidence of the effectiveness of the Demonstration Program in increasing organizational capacity. The evaluation found that the non-profit organizations that received capacity building services under the program experienced significantly higher levels of growth in each of the five critical areas examined compared to organizations assigned to the control group, when contributions of all of the measures for the area are considered together. The program group also had significantly higher capacity growth than the control group on some individual outcome measures in each of the five areas.

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