Skip to main content

Building Organizational Capacity On the Ground

Otis Monroe, President and CEO of the Monroe Foundation, was a recent guest on the Nonprofit “U” radio blog talk show. Nonprofit "U" is an online forum where nonprofit stakeholders can discuss the latest developments in the sector and increase their capacity to serve their clients and build sustainable communities. Valerie F. Leonard, an expert in community and organizational development served as the host. The episode streamed live from and listeners were given the opportunity to call in with questions and participate in live chats. Nonprofit professionals, community advocates, developers and other community stakeholders were especially encouraged to call in and share their stories. The archived podcast is available on,, iTunes Podcast Chart, Blubrry and Stitcher.

Organizational capacity refers to organizations' potential to marshal their human, financial and other resources to effect positive change in the communities and clients they serve. Organizational capacity is impacted by a number of factors, including leadership, the organization’s stage of development and changes in the environment, to name a few. "There are a lot of organizations out there that do good work, but are challenged when it comes to making a long term impact on the surrounding community", Monroe said. "Our job at the Monroe Foundation is to help the organizations address their challenges and then connect them with funders and other resources to give them staying power." Monroe shared lessons learned in his experiences working with African American-led organizations to build capacity, and called on organizations to engage in the Chicago Community Trust’s On the Table discussions to brainstorm ways of tackling community problems.

The Monroe Foundation was formed in 1991 to provide technical assistance in starting community and economic development projects within low-income communities, and provide emerging groups with seed grants through the PACT Project (Partnership For Assisting Community Transformation).

Keywords: Capacity Building, Nonprofit "U", Nonprofit organizations, Nonprofit Podcasts, Valerie F. Leonard

Posted in Common Sense Media

Connect with us

Stay up to date with the the latest news and events related to the portal.

Share your story

What's going on in Englewood? Share your story and become an author on the portal.

Powered by Teamwork Englewood

Uniting organizations serving Englewood residents and working toward the common goal of building a stronger community.

More about Teamwork Englewood »