Nonprofit Capacity Building


By, Steve Finkelstein – Senior Partner

Are You a Nonprofit, or Are You a Business?

Steve Finkelstein, EOD Senior Partner

The answer is “Both“!  The challenges nonprofits face are many of the same as a business – strategic planning, financial stewardship, employee engagement, operations management, process improvement and achieving outcomes.  In order to effectively achieve the desired mission outcomes the business disciplines and execution skills are absolutely critical.  Successful nonprofits organizations have adopted many of the best practices and tools from business.

Why should nonprofits also adopt business practices? This will enhance their success and success is attractive. When a nonprofit demonstrates sound management and execution principles they attract donors, board members, talent and volunteers.  This results in achieving their mission and enhances the outcomes for their stakeholders.

Experience on Demand has worked with over 40 Nonprofits in capacity building projects to include strategic planning and execution, board effectiveness and engagement, leadership coaching and team building, developing performance and outcome metrics plus numerous special projects.

Below is a list of critical success questions to assess your organization’s effectiveness.  How would you rate each on a scale of 1(Low) to 5 (High)?

  1. We have a strong partnership and trusted relationship between the Board and Executive Director.
  2. We have effective leadership at both the Board and Executive Director levels.
  3. We have an effective board with the right size, diversity, experience and level of commitment.
  4. We have a strong support staff that is engaged and have the skills, experience and tools to execute their jobs.
  5. We have a current strategic plan and implementation roadmap that is clearly understood and well executed.
  6. We have an effective development strategy, mix and plan that achieves our fundraising goals.
  7. We have a strong brand and reputation that attracts donors, board members, staff and volunteers.
  8. We have a disciplined fiscal responsibility process to include budgeting, cash management and forecasting.
  9. We have an effective development strategy, mix and plan that achieves our fundraising goals.
  10. We have an effective communication process and culture of open, candid communication.

Below are the Nonprofit Capacity Building Services offered by Experience on Demand:


Executive Director Roundtable


Monthly ED peer group that provides customized training, tools and peer problem solving.

Output / Deliverable

  • One monthly ED Round Table
  • One personal coaching session per month
  • Sounding board for calls, questions, etc.

Strategic Planning

Facilitate the strategic planning process

  • Approved strategic plan
  • Implementation plan
  • Ongoing coaching

Leadership Coaching

Provide one-on-one coaching for the ED and direct reports.  Also for Board leadership.

  • Written goals for each position
  • 90 Day execution plan
  • 360 Evaluations

Talent Management

Implement tools to build a high performance team

  • Administer employee engagement surveys
  • Facilitate team building sessions

Board Effectiveness

Develop an effective board to include the level of experience, skills, commitment and communication.

  • Board effectiveness survey
  • Board commitment process / letters
  • Facilitate/agendas for Board meetings

Success Measures

Develop a balance of measures to include customers, operations, staff and financial.  Includes input, activities, outputs and outcome measures. Also, the SROI – social impacts.

  • Balanced scorecard

Special Projects

Leverage the diversified Experience on Demand experts address the nonprofit’s needs. Examples – budgeting, risk assessment, recruiting, etc.

  • Completed special project


Facilitate key meetings to include board retreats, problem solving, issue resolution, etc.

  • Facilitated session with minutes and next steps.

Market Research

Conduct competitive research to understand the market, trends and competition.

  • Market Research Report

To learn more about Experience on Demand’s Non-Profit Capacity Building program, please contact:

Steve Finkelstein
Senior Partner