Capacity Assessment Grid

Publication proposée par Nicolas Béroff


The McKinsey Capacity Assessment Grid is a tool designed to help nonprofit organizations assess their organizational capacity.


The grid should be used in conjunction with the Capacity Framework, which explains the seven elements of organizational capacity and their components. The grid asks the reader to score the organization on each element of organizational capacity, by selecting the text that best describes the organization’s current status or performance. The framework and the descriptions in the grid were developed based on our team’s collective experience as well as the input of many nonprofit experts and practitioners.

The grid may be used by nonprofit managers, staff, board members and external capacity builders and funders with the following objectives :

- To identify those particular areas of capacity that are strongest and those that need improvement
- To measure changes in an organization’s capacity over time
- To draw out different views within an organization regarding its capacity ; different responses to the grid among staff, Board
members and funders, for example, can be a valuable discussion-starter within an organization.


The grid is not a scientific tool, and should not be used as one.
It is very difficult to quantify the dimensions of capacity, and the descriptive text under each score in the grid is not meant to be exact. The scores are meant to provide a general indication (a "temperature" taking, if you will)of an organization’s capacity level, in order to identify potential areas for improvement.
Furthermore, the results of the exercise should be interpreted in the context of the organizatins stage of development. For example, a score of “2” on organizational processes may be sufficient for a new organization, and this area may not merit immediate attention. In fact, many organizations may never get to level 4 on many elements.