Scaling Social Impact through Organisational Capacity Building

Scaling Social Impact through Organisational Capacity Building

The discourse around social impact organisations, more often than not, includes the need to achieve scale. One side of the coin is the denominator or the scale at which the social problem exists, and the breadth that needs to be covered to solve the problem. The other side of the coin is the organisation’s capability – both in terms of quality and quantity – to achieve the requisite scale. Simply put, scaling up both programmes as well as organisations to achieve the desired impact in the ecosystem go hand-in-hand.

Non-profit leaders will concur that scale means different things to different organisations. It depends, among other things, on the problem they are trying to solve, the geographies where the problem persists, and the beneficiaries they are focusing on based on their theory of change. Accordingly, the pathways to scale differ as well. There can therefore be no cookie-cutter approach to scaling up for impact.

Sattva’s decade-long experience of engaging with non-profits of different sizes and maturity levels has however, helped us identify a key tenet – organisational capacity building – which when customised, can enable an organisation to become ‘scale up ready’. There are multiple components to this exercise, and our experience says that every non-profit that wishes to scale requires one or more of these.

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  • Re-alignment of Mission and Vision: Before embarking upon the creation of a scale-up strategy, non-profits caught in the throes of growth need to relocate their North Star. This holds true even for large scale mature non-profits who have been in the ecosystem for ages. For instance, Sattva helped a 40-year old organisation working on child welfare to re-create the mission of the organisation in the context of the larger vision, which then enabled them to focus on depth of impact, instead of spreading themselves too thin to achieve breadth alone.

  • Development of Fundraising Strategy: The ability to create impact is contingent upon the non-profit’s ability to stay in business and scale, which in turn is largely dependent on the availability of funding. A robust fundraising strategy is therefore very important for any non-profit. Sattva has worked with diverse organisations across various sectors, and some as old as 20 years, to develop a deep understanding of what makes fundraising strategies work. It often starts with conducting fundraising diagnostics to understand past performance, which feeds into new fundraising strategies that define target funder segments, key value propositions and critical success factors. This is then further reinforced by building fundraising capacity of the organisation across people, processes, messaging and networks.

  • Restructuring of organisations (Systems, Processes, People) and Change Management: As organisations grow to scale their impact, their people and processes need to accommodate the changes that come with scale. Sattva has encountered examples of large organisations which have scaled to 400+ districts in India while holding on to centralised decision-making structures, resulting in bottlenecks across the organisation. The solutions in such instances have included developing a second line of leadership to decentralise decision-making, organisational restructuring to create new departments and restructure existing ones, developing standard operating procedures for old and new processes, developing capacity building plans for people, and creating change management plans to help these changes percolate across roles and ranks within the organisation.

  • Developing Scale-up Blueprints and Products for Programs of organisations: Growing an organisation and its programmes requires various strategies and levers. Sattva has demonstrated that standardising blueprints for scale and developing innovative products can enable organisations to implement their programmes at scale. Designing programmes and processes, building monitoring and evaluation frameworks for measuring effectiveness and efficiency of programmes, and using technology as an enabler to scale programmes have been some of tried and tested ways in which we have enabled organisations to scale their programmes and impact, the most shining testimony of which has been an education non-profit which grew its programme from 4 to 13 states in the country in 3 years.
  • Since the need of each organisation on its pathway to scale is unique, the solutions have to be customised as well. Programme and organisational diagnostics to understand the gaps that need filling, custom-made strategies to address the specific requirements of an organisation, and implementation support on an organisation’s scale-up journey are, therefore, all integral cogs for enabling an organisation to achieve the scale that is necessary to create the intended impact. While externalities like regulatory environment and availability of funding may limit the growth of organisations at times, organisational capacity building can help overcome some of the challenges associated with becoming ‘scale up ready’.

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    Sattva has been working with various non-profits and organisations to help them define their social impact goals and optimise their capacity building efforts. Our focus is to solve critical problems and find scalable solutions.

    ● To read more about our work, check: https://www.sattva.co.in/our-work/
    ● Talk to us: impact@sattva.co.in

    Urmi Patil

    Urmi is a part of our Consulting Services team in Mumbai, supporting the design and implementation of CSR projects.

    Before Sattva, she worked in southern Gujarat assisting Ph.D. scholars with their primary research and learning different participatory tools of engagement. She has worked in Government Primary Schools in Uttarakhand for two years where she was able to support schools on processes that improved the learning outcomes of children and enhanced participation of the community members. She has also worked with Mahila Mangal Dals, Yuvak Mangal Dals and Self Help Groups for their capacity building through community-based stakeholder mapping.

    Urmi has a Bachelor of Arts, with Economics Honours from Christ University.

    Shrutee Ganguly

    Shrutee is part of the Consulting Services team, Delhi, and leads engagements with corporate and strategic account clients. She manages a team that works with various implementation partners and NGOs to create long term sustainable impact. Her role demands her to manage customer experience, define strategy and create valuable outcomes in the ecosystem.

    Before Sattva she has had 16+ years in diverse corporate domains – banking, product management and consulting. Her key areas of expertise are Operational Excellence; Process Re-engineering, Programme Management, Coaching, Relationship Management & training. She has worked with senior leaders and operations staff to understand cultural dynamics, manage expectations, streamline processes and deliver results. It is her belief that the social sector needs some of these skills to streamline and structure their efforts to create impact and value. At Sattva, Shrutee has worked with the largest education non-profit in India to co-create models to recognise needs of middle management govt officials who are responsible for the policy and implementation at schools. She also worked closely with the client’s programme team to run pilots and gather relevant inputs from teachers and community on teaching practices, child engagement, good practices and challenges.

    Shrutee is a post graduate in computer applications from Madras University and an IBM certified Lean coach.

    Bobbymon George

    Bobbymon heads Assessments in Sattva and is based in our Bangalore office.

    He has delivered evaluation assignments across sectors and with key CSR accounts such as ABG, JPMorgan, ACC, Philips, L&T Infotech, L&T Financial Services, Dell and Fidelity. He comes with over 13 years of experience in the development sector, across programme design, implementation and Monitoring and Evaluation. He has led Programme Delivery, Curriculum Development, setting up Monitoring & Evaluation frame works and tools in non-profits.

    He is also a master facilitator/trainer in Life Skills.

    Garima Goel

    Garima is part of the Transformative Advisory team in Delhi, working with Kaivalya Education Foundation (KEF) on the District Transformation Product for 25 districts.

    Before Sattva she co-founded a sanitation enterprise called “Project Raahat” which is working in the field of urban sanitation in partnership with the government and is currently operational in 3 states. She represented India and Raahat in London and become ‘Enactus World Champion 2017’, chosen among 36 countries. She has also worked with MPs under the MPLAD programme and ran projects in their adopted villages regarding menstrual hygiene and community development. At Sattva she has worked with Central Square Foundation in landscaping the EdTech industry on a programme to drive efficacy and advocacy for country wide implementation by the government. She is committed to inculcating a bottom up method in development solutions to make them community driven.

    Garima did her Bachelors of Management Studies from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, with a major in Finance.

    Atul Sukumar

    Atul helps design, build and implement consulting projects as part of the Consulting Services team in Delhi.

    Previously, his experience includes extensive research and analysis on problems of economic policy, education, healthcare, and energy. He has worked as a Data Analyst with the McKinsey Center for Government, a global hub for research, collaboration and innovation in government productivity and performance. He has also worked in consulting organisations, publishing companies, law firms and election campaigns. He is committed to bringing best practices from the private sector to impact public efficiency and effectiveness.

    Atul is a liberal arts graduate of the University of Miami.

    Parnika Madar

    Parnika is a part of the Consulting Services team in Delhi. She has 2 years of experience in the social impact consulting sector- engaging with corporates, foundations and NGOs focusing on research, implementation, programme management, and monitoring and evaluation. She also co-founded her own philanthropic venture which won accolades from an international inter-governmental organisation.

    At Sattva, she has been involved in establishing and managing an entrepreneur-led apparel micro enterprise in rural Uttar Pradesh for an international foundation, and has also worked with a key non-profit client in designing and executing a lean pilot for micro enterprise and entrepreneurship development in UP. Apart from livelihoods, she has also worked in other sectors and functional areas such as CSR portfolio management, Education and EdTech, and Skill Development, for varied clients such as a global beverage-manufacturing company, global tech and healthcare enterprise, non-profit philanthropic foundation, and a leading national financial services and investments firm.

    Parnika has both her Bachelor’s in Social Sciences and Master’s in Development Policy from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, where she had been a part of multiple field studies, spending time in rural Maharashtra with local communities.

    Atul Kotnala

    Atul is with the Consulting Services (Implementation) team, heading project teams and working with key clients in the Delhi region.

    He has over eight years of experience in the social sector, working across the spectrum – as a Gandhi Fellow for Kaivalya Education Foundation in Rajasthan, as a recruiter for the Fellowship in South India, a Project Manager at Piramal Foundation, leading a cohort of 1000 beneficiaries for a livelihood program in Uttarakhand, and as a part of the Uttarakhand District Disaster Management Team to build a Livelihood Action Plan for the district. At Sattva he has led multiple projects working on CSR strategy formulation, organisational development, mobilisation, programme management, implementation of a livelihood programme, social audits, partner due diligence and assessments.

    Atul has a Bachelors in Commerce from the University of Delhi.

    Shruti Deora

    Shruti is part of the Transformative Advisory team in Delhi, leading delivery for clients in the education sector, for bringing systemic transformation at scale through process standardisation, technology and capability development.

    She has over 8+ years of experience in various roles across industries – as a management consultant in KPMG Advisory, creating solutions and supporting implementation for large scale business transformation projects in India, South Africa, Uganda and UAE, as a Chartered Accountant, handling market research for investments with Franklin Templeton, as well as a stint with the Investment Management Division of Goldman Sachs. At Sattva she has worked on key projects of Sattva Knowledge in the impact investment and education landscape across Asia, and on issues of education and gender equality.

    Shruti has a Bachelors in Commerce from Mumbai University, is a Chartered Accountant and is a graduate of IIM Kozhikode.

    Aditi Chatterjee

    Aditi is part of our Consulting Services team in Delhi, managing projects in the education and livelihood domains.

    Before Sattva, she had a career in risk consulting and corporate fraud investigation with KPMG and EY, gaining an exposure to the impact that corporate supply chains have on the lives of the labour force. This led her to the development sector and the Gandhi Fellowship, where she worked with the education sector. She also learnt more about the lives of the labourers by living with them for a month in the slums of Mumbai, working on labour jobs with their families and exploring business models which enable better livelihoods for them. At Sattva, she continues to work on issues at the cusp of business and social impact.

    Aditi has an MBA from Said Business School at the University of Oxford, where she was a Weidenfeld Hoffman – Louis Dreyfus scholar.