The Compassion Capital Fund (CCF), administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), funds intermediary organizations' capacity building assistance to faith- and community-based organizations. In support of these efforts, HHS commissioned Branch Associates, Inc., in partnership with Abt Associates, Inc., to conduct a study, examining the services and promising practices of intermediary organizations and the faith- and community-based organizations they serve. This study allowed Branch Associates, Inc. to create this capacity benchmarking tool by incorporating the knowledge and lessons it learned in the field, with the experiences of intermediaries and, most importantly, the insights of community-based nonprofit leaders - the intended audience for this tool. This tool rests on two foundations - best practices and benchmarks. Best practices summarize the consensus among researchers, nonprofit leaders, and technical assistance providers about running effective and financially sound organizations. Benchmarks are the descriptive or measurable indicators of how well organizations carry out the best practices. As an organization achieves benchmarks, it becomes stronger, more effective, and more efficient. (Author abstract).
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