Capacity Builders Convergence

The date and topic for the next convergence will be announced soon!

Across nonprofit and civil society ecosystems, a range of organizations and practitioners self-identify as “capacity builders”, working to strengthen the sustainability and resilience of individuals and organizations so they can more fully participate, contribute and lead in justice movements and movement building.

Capacity builders do this work out of a passion for teaching, supporting, serving and building. We are most often generous with knowledge and focused on collective impact and network solidarity. We welcome opportunities to compare practices, share knowledge and deepen relationships with others doing related work.

As ubiquitous as capacity builders are across the NGO sector, it is too often the case that we don’t identify or operate as a field, or as a rich and diverse community of practice. We are often placed in competitive rather than collaborative circumstances with one another due to the funder-driven nature of service delivery. Resource constraints can also incline relationships between capacity builders and clients to be more transactional rather than oriented around mutual aid or solidarity.

We think we need to hang out more, both to discuss all the above as well as to share skills, knowledge, experiences and visions.

While some discipline-specific communities exist to connect those working in areas such as digital security and data literacy, there are not many broad-based spaces for capacity builders to connect and explore the full range of relevant knowledge domains, from business models and client relations to intellectual property practices, self-care and ongoing learning.

To create space to explore and address all these dynamics, Aspiration and FabRiders co-organised the first online Capacity Builders Convergence on 5 April 2022.

The Convergence is envisioned as a collaborative and supportive environment to connect the broad range of practitioners who enable other organizations to strengthen their strategies, principles, practices and sustainability. We aim to explore and promote open principles and collaborative approaches around methodologies and practices that can be applied to our work.

We welcome those for whom the above resonates to join us in this first-ever convening.

In particular, do you:

  • Work with organizations to help them develop and strengthen internal and external capacity in their programmatic and operational work?
  • Provide mentoring, training or advising to NGO management and/or staff?
  • Offer on-demand or ongoing support to civil society organizations addressing security, financial or other organizational health needs?
  • Develop open resources to be used by those working for social and racial justice?
  • Do you also have interest in meeting, sharing and collaborating with others working in the broad range of practices areas collectively known as “capacity building”?

The Capacity Builders Convergence aims to connect interested practitioners and map what our field looks like in 2022. Who is doing this work? Who are we serving, who is benefiting from capacity building activities, and how? And how can we collectively do better, in terms of centring equity, maximizing inclusion, and increasing our collective impact?

CapacityCon is envisioned to strengthen the field by better understanding the support practitioners need, and in turn, identifying means to build solidarity between practitioners.

Get involved! And please help us spread the word…

To participate, just email and let us know about your current capacity-building work, how this convening could be useful to you and what you might learn and share with other practitioners. There is no charge to participate.

Collaboratively Developed Agendas

Agenda’s are co-created with confirmed participants in the time leading up to the event.

Topics the agenda to date have included:

  • Mapping the field: who are we, and what is the breadth and diversity of those working in capacity-building contexts?
  • Comparing journeys and learnings in our respective capacity-building practices
  • Centering equity and inclusion in practices and programs
  • Sharing and comparing approaches to mentoring, training, facilitation and learning
  • Peer learning on specific strategies, tactics and skills
  • Considering more intentional sharing of resources
  • Exploring and demystifying business models, service approaches, and financial operations
  • Strengthening our sustainability and resilience as practitioners, including professional development, self-care and avoiding burnout.

Other ways to get involved

Help us co-create safe and accessible spaces

We invite you to check out Aspiration’s Participation Guidelines and Event Expectations for sharing and exploration at our events. All participants are expected to help create the most inclusive and safe space possible by honouring the Participant Guidelines.

We strive to host accessible events that maximize the opportunity of all individuals to participate and engage wholly in all spaces and activities, in full respect of cultural and linguistic identities, care needs, and abilities.

For inquiries about accessibility or accommodation requests, please get in touch. Feel free to email. We are happy to connect on any channel or in any fashion that feels most appropriate and comfortable for you.

We hope to see you there

Reach out to us if you want to connect or have any questions about attending.