Outcome: the funded organisation will be more resilient
What this outcome means
If your project is a success, your organisation will have a greater ability to adapt to changing circumstances to give you a secure future. This includes both the capacity to manage threats and challenges and being able to respond to new opportunities.
You will demonstrate that you understand the organisation’s current strengths and weaknesses. You could then achieve greater resilience through:
- stronger more diverse governance
- greater local involvement in your organisation
- increased management and staff skills
- effective use of digital
- fresh sources of expertise and advice
- working in partnership to share services, staff and resources
What we are looking for
You might have increased income, or generated income from a different mix of sources, including commercial activity, endowments or new fundraising programmes.
A more resilient organisation might make use of new technology and establish new ways of working digitally with other organisations, including pooling expertise and resources.
You might have increased capacity and skills through training, or recruiting new and more diverse board members or volunteers. You should also be able to demonstrate that you have wider, and more inclusive, support and involvement from communities and audiences.
The changes you make as part of your project, should enable you to show you are in a measurably stronger position for the future.
Things to consider
The whole picture: capacity building projects often work better when they consider the organisation as a whole, not just one specific element, such as fundraising or finance, on its own.
Honest appraisal: understanding and being realistic about current strengths and weaknesses is important. The Resilient Heritage Strength Checker tool can help inform conversations between volunteers, staff and Board members.
Strong and diverse governance: ensuring the Board has the right skills to take the organisation forward is vital. Board membership should also reflect and represent the audiences the organisation wants to work with.
Capacity to make the change: planning and implementing changes takes time and effort. Funding to cover senior staff, so they can focus on this, and take time away from the day-to-day, can really help.
It can benefit everyone: any size and type of organisation can benefit from making changes to build their capacity – not just those that are very big or very new.
Embedding change: intensive support like mentoring and coaching can help, but organisations need the ambition and commitment to take change forward, aided by planning, action and review.
Working together: it is important for organisations to work together, to share their skills, knowledge and resources. A capacity building project can help find ways to do this better.
What are the greatest assets?: developing new ways to exploit assets is a key part of capacity building. Physical and less tangible assets, like a database of dedicated supporters, or strong brand, may present strong opportunities.
Understanding the finances: everyone should get to grips with budgeting, costing and financial controls. Understanding the full costs of delivering a project helps ensure organisations get the funding they need.
Performance and impact: having the skills and processes in place to both monitor performance against targets and measure impact is important. Reporting from evidence is critical in winning support and funding.
Digital project example 1
The Friends of Kirkby Gallery and Prescot Museum have embarked on a project to raise the digital skills within the organisation in order to reach new audiences and improve resilience.
Working with a mentor, committee members, volunteers and venue staff will develop digital skills to use technology, building confidence within the organisation to share their collections and exhibitions online. Ensuring digital ways of working are embedded within the organisation and expanding their offer will support the organisation to become more resilient.
Digital project example 2
The Scottish Wildlife Trust is working collaboratively with a range of organisations on digital transformation within Scotland’s environment sector. The partnership is currently exploring a range of initiatives including:
- developing a shared digital resource knowledge bank
- pooling investment to support joint digital projects
- making collective digital assets more open
- allowing greater levels of insight and collaboration
- harnessing the full potential of digital engagement through citizen science, with a focus on greater participation and inclusion