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What makes the CCAT® unique?

The CCAT is a unique type of capacity assessment tool that forms an integral part of the capacity building services offered by TCC Group. Our core capacity assessment model was developed over decades of research and evaluation of capacity building initiatives in the non-profit sector. In addition to your organization’s capacity scores, the CCAT determines your organization’s lifecycle stage, a growth stage identifier that helps inform your capacity building recommendations and ensure continued organizational growth. As one of the leading capacity assessment tools, the CCAT has been taken over 6,000 times by nonprofits, so you can compare your scores and benchmark effectiveness across peer organizations in the sector.

The core capacity assessment model

Based on decades of research and many large-scale evaluations of capacity-building initiatives conducted around the country, TCC Group has identified four core capacities that all organizations need to be effective.

The core capacity assessment model also assesses a measure of organizational culture, since the unique history, values, and beliefs of each organization have a significant impact on each of the above core capacities.

The CCAT is a statistically validated tool that comprehensively applies this model to assess your organization’s strengths, challenges, and opportunities.

Determine your lifecycle stage

Nonprofit organizations, like people, experience a lifecycle of progressive stages and developmental milestones. Within the Core Capacity Model, organizations receive a lifecycle stage placement, which contextualizes its capacity building needs and priorities, and guides the development of a customized capacity building plan designed to continue moving an organization through this cycle. Continued movement through lifecycle stages allows an organization to maximize effectiveness and avoid stagnation or decline. TCC Group labels the growth stages according to three milestones of organizational development: Core Program Development, Infrastructure Development, and Impact Expansion.

Each organization that takes the CCAT receives a lifecycle stage placement. TCC Group sees an organization’s lifecycle as a cumulative process; each successive stage requires growth in the prior stages. Whether you are moving from Core Program Development to Infrastructure Development or circling back from Impact Expansion to Core Program Development, moving to the next lifecycle stage requires building certain capacities in each stage. For example, an organization in Infrastructure Development may need to build its management and adaptive capacities in order to move to Impact Expansion. The CCAT final report identifies these precise capacities and makes recommendations to move each organization to the next lifecycle stage.

Benchmarking effectiveness within the nonprofit landscape

A uniquely valuable component of the CCAT process is the option to benchmark your CCAT scores alongside peer organizations. All participating organizations are invited to include background information on characteristics of their organization, such as budget size, sector, and programming. This information is entirely optional and it does not factor into an organization’s capacity assessment.

Organizations that have filled out background information have the option to download their CCAT final report with comparison information using the wealth of data TCC Group has collected from the thousands of organizations who have taken the CCAT. This comparison report allows a nonprofit to benchmark its effectiveness across organizations of similar budget size, service sector, and/or type of programming, providing valuable insight into where an organization fits within the landscape of the sector and its peer organizations.

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