Organizations Capacity Assessment


It is customary among organizations staff that every organization has a different level of efficiency in planning, fundraising, and implementation quality. So, every organization is keen to appear the best and most efficient in planning and the highest quality in implementation. Because the conviction of the donors will result in their acceptance to implement projects together which will increase their funding and sustained growth.


It must be made clear that most donors have adopted common standards of procedures and developed tools to assess organization’s capabilities before signing any agreement, partnership or funding with it. Every person who works in the organization needs to know the requirements and capabilities the donors expect to be available in his organization before contacting them or submitting any plans and proposals for funding. These capacities are as follows:

1- Financial capabilities:  the existence of the annual financial audit report by a legal accountant or a financial audit company for the last financial year. Some donors ask for the financial audit reports of the last three years. These reports contains the total budget the organization spent per year which helps the donor to know the organization capacity level and the amount of funding that the organization can absorb and spend if accordance with the standards financial procedures. 

2- Technical capabilities: the existence of what proves that the organization has previous experience in implementing the same kind of projects which will be funded. For example, previous agreements with the same partners, annual achievement reports or previous project reports in the same sectors. Donors want to make sure the organization they intend to fund is capable to manage this kind of projects and will follow implementation, monitoring and evaluation procedures and can provide well-written reports for all activities. 

Increased capabilities reduce risks and increase funding

Risk assessment and its relationship with the amount of funding

3-  Policies and internal regulations of the organization: donors request a copy of the organization’s policies and manuals to make a decision as these policies are valid to be followed during project implementation that they will fund or send their policies, manuals, and instructions and ask the organizations they fund to follow.

4- Reliability: donors have to make sure of the organization’s reliability before funding it and accept its proposals. Organization’s reliability will not only be known through annual financial audit but also through making sure of the existence of the organization on the ground. So they look for its website and news of its activities online. While others contract local party to go to the organization’s headquarters and make sure of the building, staff’s working hours and the extent of the organization’s application of standard procedures according to its financial policies. Moreover, donors might ask for a list of a person or more who are working in known organizations and contact them and ask for their opinion if this organization can implement the project or if it is not qualified for it. Then they make the decision of funding according to these opinions and recommendations.

5-  Main staff: donors request a list of the staff’s names, positions, qualifications, and experience as well as the organization leadership’s experience. The donor also focuses on the presence of men and women in the leadership of the organization, not only men. So the organization must work on employing a sufficiently qualified staff of both sexes to be in a level of competence and gives the donor the confidence to go on with the partnership and transfer money to the organization’s account. Moreover, this assures the donor that the organization has a leadership and staff that have enough knowledge of regulatory requirements as well as technical and financial procedures and are capable of project’s implementation and write reports and provide financial and technical documents which confirm the good implementation of every activity and the responsible spending for all budget items. The organization should continuously train its main staff on proposal writing and fundraising and familiarize them with the donor’s requirements.

Therefore, right from the first day of establishment, the organization should prepare the following to be ready to receive funding:

⦁ The annual financial audit report for the last financial year of the newly established organizations or several financial years of organizations established several years back.
⦁ Good reports of implemented projects.
⦁ The organization statute and a copy of the license that was renewed at the beginning of the year.
⦁ The organization’s internal policies especially financial, procurements, human resources policies and project management, monitoring, and evaluation tools.
⦁ Models of action taken by the organization during project and activities implementation. For example, project plans, monitoring, and evaluation plans receiving complaints and feedback forms, a set of financial reports, procurements procedures and some activities’ reports.
⦁ Curriculum vitae of the organization’s leadership (board of trustees and administrative body) and its executive staff.
⦁ The English-language website contains new photos and news of activities and projects implemented by the organization.
⦁ The organization’s profile and strategic plan.

These documents should be continuously updated and translated into English so the donor will be able to view them at any time.

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