Which of these challenges bothers you most?
We can't improve the quality of our programming; we don’t have resources to hire the people we really need!
We are drowning in data! There must be an efficient way to manage all this data, but we don’t know where to start.
We don't believe our real value can be measured anyway. How can we capture the heart of our program?
We don't have enough cash to cover payroll this Friday!! I can't prioritize anything besides fundraising.
We can help your team chart a clear course to mission improvement!
Credit: Photo by Paul Dunn for YES! Magazine
After six years, Capacity Institute nonprofits achieve:
Nonprofits using the Capacity Institute's tools are significantly improving their mission effectiveness!
Yours can too!
- Who is our target population?
- What participant outcomes do we commit to reach?
- Year 1: Build a comprehensive measurement system based on Theory of Change.
- Year 2: Implement, fine-tune, and align your system with existing operations.
The City School Success Story
The City School develops and strengthens youth to become effective leaders for social justice.... By using Capacity Institute tools, The City School increased their long-term youth outcomes success rate from 11% in 2011 to 51% in 2016! Now every year 17 more young people are sustainably engaged in social justice work in their communities after completing the two-year program. Click here to learn how they did it...
Sam Casseus, The City School board member and program graduate
What our clients say
The trust we built up gave us the freedom we needed to make mistakes, to learn, and to become the best we can be for our young people. Now we are relaxed, we are not anxious about the things we need to do; we know how to get there.
Nikki FlionisExecutive Director, Mission Safe
This project made us more intentional and strategic about what we are trying to accomplish. The theory of change session postures you to think differently…everything else flowed from that session.
Rev. Dr. Virginia WardCo-Pastor, Abundant Life Church
The comprehensive process helps organizations figure out where they want to go and how to get there. It helped us to shift the culture here, in a way we could not have done on our own. It empowered us to implement changes we had been talking about for awhile but were afraid to make.
Maria Dominguez GrayExecutive Director, Phillips Brooks House Association
The process helped us push ourselves to achieve an increased sense of clarity, by creating space to put our issues on the table to talk about them.
Reena MatthewVP Programs, Trinity Boston Foundation
The process pushed us to come up with a realistic solution that would really work for us. You met us where we were at.
Joe HunglerExecutive Director, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell
Organizations should understand that this is not a grant, it’s an organizational change process.
Jesse LeavittTraining and Evaluation Director, Phillips Brooks House Association
Some facts about us
Our Clients’ Skills
Ellen Bass launched and directs the Capacity Institute, which helps nonprofits improve participant outcomes as a measure of mission attainment, by building and implementing their performance management systems over two-years. Nonprofits have improved intermediate outcome success rates by 198% and long-term outcome success rates by 291%! For twenty years, Ellen has taught and coached staff from more than three hundred nonprofits how to use logic models and outcome measurement to strengthen participant outcomes, programs, staff, strategy, partnerships, and fundraising.
Ellen also founded and leads the Nonprofit Performance Management Consultant Network, to improve the effectiveness of human service nonprofits nationally by engaging consultants, nonprofits and funders to invest in performance management practices. In an effort to advance nonprofit performance management at a national scale, Ellen engages groups in dialogue and training on related topics. Ellen is a member of the Leap of Reason Ambassadors Community, which includes more than 130 nonprofit thought leaders and practitioners who advance nonprofit high performance as the norm. Ambassadors share the belief that mission and performance are inextricably linked. She serves on the Board of Directors of Idealware, which helps nonprofits make smart technology decisions.
Previously, Ellen was the first director of the Boston Capacity Tank at the Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston, where she raised and redistributed more than $10 million in grants and capacity-building services to nonprofit youth agencies in Boston. The Tank also measured capacity-building outcomes from its workshops, consultancies, and grants. With an MBA in public and nonprofit management, Ellen has served in resource development for twenty years and in program development for thirty-five years, in both secular and faith-based organizations that serve youth in the Boston community.
Ellen and her husband Jeff live in Boston; they have two grown sons. She loves coaching young women leaders, helping her church grow in discipleship and racial equity, bike commuting, cooking, and hot weather.
View my resume here.