Health Care Coalitions:  Lack of Organizational Capacity

Health Care Coalitions: Lack of Organizational Capacity

Lack of Organizational Capacity simply means that there is an inability to fulfill the coalition's functional elements it needs to run smoothly.  In other words, the actual processes and/or skills needed to make the coalition work are lacking.  While we have focused on several barriers that address some specific components of this, the overall meaning of organizational capacity is what allows the coalitions to function as a whole.

In an excerpt from Strengthening Nonprofit Performance:  A Funders Guide to Capacity Building by Paul Connolly and Carol Lukas, "Capacity is an abstract term that describes a wide range of capabilities, knowledge, and resources that nonprofits need in order to be effective."  They also determined that there are six components to be effective (directly from the website link above):

  • Mission, Vision, and Strategy:  The organization has a vital mission and a clear understanding of its identity.  It is actively involved in regular, results-oriented, strategic, and self-reflective thinking and planning that aligns strategies with the mission and organizational capacity.  The planning process involves stakeholders in an ongoing dialogue that ensures that the organization's mission and programs are valuable to the neighborhood or constituency it serves.
  • Governance and Leadership:  The organization's board of directors is engaged and representative, with defined governance practices.  The board effectively oversees the policies, programs, and organizational operations, including the review of achievement of strategic goals, financial status, and executive director performance.  The organization is accomplished at recruiting, developing, and retaining capable staff and technical resources.  The organization's leadership is alert to changing community needs and realities.
  • Finance:  The organization successfully secures support from a variety of sources to ensure that the organization's revenues are diversified, stable, and sufficient for the mission and goals.  The resource development plan is aligned with the mission, long-term goals, and strategic direction.  The organization has high visibility with key stakeholders and links clear, strategic messages to its resource development efforts.
  • Internal Operations and Management:  The organization has efficient and effective operations and strong management support systems.  Financial operations are responsibly managed and reflect sound accounting principles.  The organization utilizes information effectively for organizational and project management purposes.  Asset, risk, and technology management are strong and appropriate to the organization's purpose.
  • Program Delivery and Impact:  The organization operates programs that demonstrate tangible outcomes commensurate with the resources invested.  Programs are high quality and well regarded.  The organization utilizes program evaluation results to inform its strategic goals.  The organization has formal mechanisms for assessing internal and external factors that affect achievement of goals.
  • Strategic Relationships:  The organization is a respected and active participate and leader in the community, and maintains strong connections with its constituents.  It participates in strategic alliances and partnerships that significantly advance their goals and expand their influence.

Some of you may notice that a few of these essential components are also barriers.  Unfortunately, sometimes the best and most needed things can often hinder us and delay our progress.  As we realize our components, we also know that coalition building will always be a work in progress, but as Henry Ford says,

"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success."








Previous Coalition Building Articles:




About Tsoetsy

Tsoetsy, pronounced Cho-Chee, is an Independent Consultant whose focus is in emergency planning, with specialized training in public information and exercise design.  Tsoetsy has worked with public health departments and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)/Community Health Centers (CHCs).  Her vision is to bridge the gaps in preparedness planning by fostering relationships, streamlining processes, providing clear public communication, training, and exercising.  Her motto is "Prepare, Practice, Play!"  Tsoetsy can be reached at or on LinkedIn.

Tsoetsy Harris, MPH, MEP

Tsoetsy Harris, MPH, MEP

Independent Consultant

Recent Post

Related Post


we're on a mission

In all we do, we seek to reduce human suffering and loss of life caused by disasters.

We get it done by connecting the preparedness efforts of healthcare organizations, emergency management agencies, and public health departments through effective, financially self-sustaining healthcare coalitions.

Yes, we believe healthcare coalitions are the path forward.

Karl Schmitt, Passionate Founder & CEO, bParati

Karl SchmittPassionate Founder & CEO

(217) 953-0843
600 Wind Meadow Drive
Chatham, IL  62629

send message
bParati eNews logo
bParati logo

600 Wind Meadow Dr, Chatham, IL 62629 | (217) 622-0915 | Send Us A Message Here