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Advocacy Core Capacity Assessment Tool (Advocacy CCAT)

As nonprofits increasingly recognize the value of advocacy—or are pushed toward advocacy by external stakeholders—building advocacy capacity is critical. Understanding what capacity to build and how to measure it is important.

The Advocacy CCAT is a supplemental tool to TCC Group’s Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT), which presents an assessment of organizational capacity of a nonprofit organization. The Advocacy CCAT builds on the CCAT by incorporating key measures of organizational effectiveness that are either unique or particularly important for policy and advocacy organizations. These include:

  • Willingness to take risks and advocate even when success is not guaranteed
  • Overt acknowledgement of the value of partner organizations
  • Overt acknowledgement of the value of individual staff members
  • Celebration of success, both small and large scale
  • Level of staff commitment to an issue

The Advocacy CCAT is a survey instrument designed to provide quan­titative data related to advocacy capacity. It uses statistically validated scales and collects independent data from multiple viewpoints within your organization. It uses concrete, behaviorally based items and a standard assessment scale, resulting in an aggregated findings report of advocacy capacity with recommendations for improvements.

What is Advocacy Capacity?

Advocacy organizations come in all shapes and sizes. They have unique program mixes, with some organizations doing only advocacy work, while others conduct advocacy and policy work as an additional activity, building on their primary business of providing direct services to the community. Notwithstanding their differences, there are organizational capacities that span all of these variations, though the relative mix of the capacities may vary. There are two fundamental premises upon which a framework of organizational capacities for advocacy organizations is based:

  1. Advocacy organizations and those doing advocacy programs are nonprofits/NGOs. As such, general capacities related to the nonprofit sector are applicable.
  2. Advocacy organizations are engaged in a process leading to outcomes around framing issues, providing visibility for those issues and affecting public policy decisions on those issues. As such, there are capacities unique to advocacy organizations to effectively engage in strategies that affect those outcomes.

For any questions related to the Advocacy CCAT, please contact us here.

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