Organizational Capacity

To qualify for accreditation as a Chapter, applicants must demonstrate significant organizational capacity.  Organizational capacity is a concept that includes components such as governance and leadership; mission, vision, and strategy; program delivery and impact; strategic relationships; resource development; and internal operations and management.  Organizational capacity demonstrates that the applicant has the capability and resources to be effective.

Strategic Planning

The leadership team of each Chapter organization must engage in a strategic planning process.  Ideally, strategic planning should include the organization’s Board and staff, as well as outside stakeholders.  The process analyzes both shorter (1-3 years) and longer (3-5+ years) term goals and objectives.  Goals should be broad-based targets, while objectives should outline specific strategies and initiatives that can be implemented to achieve the goals.  An effective Strategic Plan should also include a more informal Work Plan that specifies both timelines and assignments for specific action steps along the way.


Articles and Literature

  • More Content Coming Soon


An organization’s bylaws represent a vital outline of how the organization is structured and how it operates. This document is especially critical for Chapters that are 501c3 nonprofit organizations. Bylaws should be reviewed regularly to ensure they continue to be an accurate reflection of how the Chapter is currently organized and operating.


State Examples


NCA Chapter Standards for Accreditation require Chapters to have designated staff responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization. Since 2011, every NCA Chapter has at least one paid staff member.  In some cases, this is a single staff position and may or may not be a full-time position. The position is typically designated as a Director or Coordinator. Additionally, Chapters may opt to contract with its director or coordinator as an independent contractor as opposed to creating an employee/staff position. Regardless, all organizations must have sound employee or personnel policies that outline expectations, protections, policies and procedures.

Sample Job Descriptions for Executive Directors

Sample Contracts for Temporary Positions

Sample Job Descriptions for Staff Positions

Additional Personnel Resources

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of a Chapter is responsible for establishing and ensuring the mission, vision and values of the organization. In addition, the Board is responsible for maintaining the stability and security of the Chapter and setting the course for its future direction. For 501c3 nonprofit Chapter organizations, the Board serves as the governing entity and has legal and fiduciary responsibility for the actions of the organization. This responsibility distinguishes the Board of Directors from an Advisory Board that may be responsible for setting direction of the Chapter, but does not serve in a governing capacity.

Developing and growing a Chapter Board should be a strategic, intentional process that focuses on recruiting and retaining the expertise, resources, contacts and experience the Chapter needs to achieve its goals.


Board Development Tools

Other Organizational Policies

There are a variety of other important organizational policies Chapters, especially those that are 501c3 nonprofit organizations should establish and maintain. Samples and templates of many of these policies are included here.

Policies and Procedures Manual

Conflict of Interest Policy

Crisis Management/Communications Policy

Looking for Help?

Find an NCA member location