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Capacity Building Project Template


Monthly Benchmark Weekly Tasks
1. January 23
2. February 7
3. March 7
4. April 4
5. May 2
6. June 6
7. July 4
8. August 1

Thank you for participating in this process to (one sentence explanation of
your topic: strengthen our support and training for our generous volunteer
tutors). As an AmeriCorps Member, (name) is leading this process at
(organization) as part of his/her year of service through NEO Literacy Corps.
The purpose of this project is (benefit for the organization: to create a tutor
training curriculum). The goal is to build on the strengths of (organization)’s
current services and replicate past successes in order to (broad goal: support
tutors to create their best possible learning experience).

The mission of (organization) is “(mission: to act justly, love tenderly, and
walk humbly with each other).” As part of this mission, (information about
service: organization x provides afterschool tutoring for elementary school
children who come to the drop-in center). More details about program at it
relates to the topic: number of tutors, where located, what training currently
offered, goals of program, community partners that help with training, etc.
As an AmeriCorps member and (role in organization) it is my responsibility to
increase (organization)’s capacity to provide quality, interconnected, and/or
outcomes oriented literacy services through a concrete and sustainable

Overview of the Interview Process

Who will be interviewed & when?

Why are they being asked to participate?

How & when will results be reported back to participants?

How will results be used (introduce dream/design process)?

Tips for Conducting Interviews
Use the interview questions section for script guidelines and note taking.
You may choose not to use all of the questions or adapt the questions to
what works best for your interview.

Really listen to the other person. Be genuinely curious about their thoughts
& experiences.

Some people will take longer to think about their answers; allow for silence.

Don’t squash negatives, but look deeper to find the positive ideal image or
small successes from negative experiences.

Respect the time limit so both can have an equal turn to share.

Work from specific experiences to the general “life-giving” values. Use these
questions to probe further:
• Can you tell me more?
• Why was that important to you?
• How did that affect you?
• What was your contribution?
• How were you supported?
• How has it changed you?

Interview Guide
Suggested opening: I am going to ask you questions about things that have
interested you in your work at (organization). You may be more familiar with
change initiatives that focus on things that aren’t working well—problems—
so we can fix them. In this case, we are going to find out about your work
and organization at its best—the successes—so we can find out what works
in order to build on and replicate it to build capacity at (organization).
Questions are like tools, and in this case we want to build a beautiful addition
to an existing house, not fix a leaky faucet. The goal of this interview is to
(information you are trying to gather: find out more about your experience
with the afterschool program) that will increase the vitality, effectiveness,
and success of (organization or service: our afterschool tutoring program)
going forward into the future.
I. Celebrating (organization)’s (mission and services: afterschool
tutoring program)

To start, I’d like to learn more about your experiences (in

organization/service: at the afterschool program).

What is your role there?

What are three core factors that give life to (the organization/service:
afterschool tutoring program), without which the (organization/service:
tutoring program) would cease to exist?




Without being modest, what do you value most about yourself, and your role
at (organization/service: afterschool tutoring program), and the
(organization/service: afterschool tutoring program)?

Tell me about a high point when you were involved in (positive change or
topic in some way: a tutoring session or individualized learning experience)
that was particularly meaningful for you. What did you and others do to
make this experience (positive traits: engaging, meaningful, effective)?
When is (organization/service: afterschool tutoring program) at its best in
terms of (positive goals of topic: providing tutors with the information and
opportunities to develop skills they need to create a great learning
environment)? Why?

II. Your vision for the future of (organization/topic: tutor training)

Imagine you have awakened from a long, deep sleep and everything (related
to this topic: in the afterschool tutor program/tutor training) is as you always
dreamed it would be. Your ideal state has become the reality. What do you
see? What is going on? How have things changed?

Which of these changes are you most enthusiastic about? Why?

Interview Summary Sheet

Name of Interviewee:


Interviewer Name:


Overall, what was your sense of what was most important to this person?

Please share any quotable quotes or compelling stories that came from this

Which core factors give life to (org/service)?




What would this person change to create their ideal (org/service/topic: tutor

Use the same purpose from Interview Guide: why are you doing this capacity
building process?

We will dream together about what we want to see happen at (organization
related to project area). Based on that dream, we will brainstorm things that
could be done to make our dream a reality. After voting on what are the
most important things to do, we will create an action plan. Everyone will
leave the meeting today with tasks to complete to make the action plan

Welcome and Introductions

Energizing Activity (Ice breaker, game, yoga, inspirational movie)

Explanation of Process & Necessary Background Information

Growth Interview Results

Small Group Activity #1: What is Most Important?

Report for Activity #1

Activity #2: What Can We Do?

Report & Voting for Activity #2

Activity #3: Create a Plan

Report for Activity #3

Go Out and Make It Happen!

Growth Interview Results
(This section can also be an oral “report back” session by participants if
interview is included in the meeting process)

Our Biggest Success Story

Give some examples of success stories, quotable quotes, or compile results
into the “story of our organization/program”

Top 3 (or more) Values

1. #1

2. #2

3. #3

2021: Vision of the Future

What dreams do we have for the future? WOW!

Top 3 Wishes
1. #1

2. #2

3. #3
Small Group Activity #1: What is Most Important?
Purpose: To decide what is the most important reason that we have
(program area) at DoGood Non-Profit and to dream about the
most important (topic area of growth) for the future.


1. Organize into a group of 4-12 people.

2. Select 4 people to: ask questions, keep time, write results, and report
back (1 minute).

3. With your group, talk about the top 3 values that were shared in the
interviews. What is one thing that connects all of those values
together? What is the one thing we value most in the (program) at
DoGood Non-Profit? (5 minutes)

4. As a group, create something that represents the Most Important Thing

about (program) at DoGood Non-Profit. This could be a drawing, poem,
song, or even just a word. Use the paper, markers, scissors, and tape
on your table and put this on a poster (or provide other types of craft
supplies for more creative report back). (10 minutes)

5. Discuss the dream we have for what DoGood Non-Profit will be like in
2021. What are 3-4 key methods we could use to make our dream a
reality? Write them down. (15 minutes)

6. Prepare a two minute presentation that includes:

a. The most important thing about DoGood Non-Profit’s

(program/project area).

b. Explain your poster/creative project and how it represents the

most important thing.
c. The 3-4 methods to make our dream a reality.

7. Report your two minute presentation to the whole group.

Activity #2: What Can We Do?
Purpose: To think of as many ideas as possible for plans that can make our
dream for DoGood Non-Profit a reality.

Design element: (Examples: Training, Partnerships, Results, Volunteers,

Curriculum, Technology, Communication, Student Communities)

Internal/External Relationships:

Create a diagram that shows the current internal & external relationships
that effect the design element you are focused on in your project.


1. With your group, look at the top 3 wishes from the interviews and the
methods from the Activity #1. Decide on one method or wish to focus on. (5

2. Brainstorm actions that could be taken to make the wish come true. Here are
some useful rules for brainstorming (30 minutes):

a. All ideas are good ideas

b. Be creative

c. Stay focused

d. Only one person talks at a time

e. Think of as many as possible

3. Recorder writes a list of your ideas on a piece of paper.

Report and Voting (30-45 min):

1. Reporter from each group will read their list of ideas.

2. (Facilitator) will write all the lists on a flip chart. As we write each new idea,
the group will decide if this is already on the list or could be combined with
another idea on the list.

3. Everyone will vote on the top 3 ideas they would like to work on.

4. As a large group, we will create Aspiration Statements for the top 2-3
(or other #) ideas. An Aspiration Statement is a concrete, time specific
goal with a method for achieving it that starts (create an intro phrase
that relates to your design element: “By (Time limit: August 2011), the
(design element) we most aspire to (action: improve, obtain, reach,
create) are…”


Use vivid, specific language.

Be positive!!

Be bold and provocative. Make your statement as stretch that will

attract others.

5. Choose the one idea that you would most like to help with and go to that
action group.
Activity #3: Make A Plan
Objective: For each individual to leave with concrete tasks to make our
dream a reality.

Aspiration Statement:


1. Organize into a group of 4-12 people.

2. Select 4 people to: lead discussion now & in the future, keep time,
write results, and report back (1 minute).

3. Brainstorm short & long term strategies to reach your aspiration

statement (10 min).



4. Divide your goals into individual tasks and responsibilities. Decide who
will follow up to check on each other (10 min).

Task Responsible Estimate Deadlin Follow

d Start e Up





5. Create your own to-do list to complete your responsibilities. Prioritize

the tasks and create a time estimate and/or deadline (5 min).

ACTION Priority Time


6. Report back to the large group what your short term & long term goals
are and what deadlines you’ve set for your tasks.