iCAT: Frequently Asked Questions

In short, KBF sees a nonprofit's iCAT results as an individualized grant-making roadmap.


What is the iCAT?

The iCAT is a capacity assessment tool that evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of individual organizations, generating a list of top organizational strengths and challenges. It also generates a list of recommendations of suggested areas of investment in order to improve the organization. These may range from leadership coaching to strategic planning to fundraising training to many other areas. It does this by comparing online survey responses of staff and board members with years of research about what makes nonprofit organizations effective and sustainable.

How does the iCAT help organizations do better work?

By comparing one organization with established research on others, nonprofit organizations receive tailored recommendations about what to do first, second and third in order operate more productively.  One of the underlying assumptions of the iCAT is that at different points in time, organizations need different kinds of support. For example, staff may need training in a certain area or coaching, depending on the challenge.

What’s involved in participating in the iCAT?

Each organization will need to give written permission for KBF to review the results of the iCAT once it is completed.

The first step in setting up the iCAT is selecting an iCAT administrator who will input names and emails of participants into an online dashboard. That person or another staff member will also need to input some basic information about the organization, such as budget size and number of staff members.

At each nonprofit organization, between three to twenty-five people participate in the online iCAT survey—some staff members and some board members, with no more than a third of the participants coming from the board. The survey takes 20-30 minutes per participant. The questions ask about different areas of the organization such as operations, leadership and fundraising.  Participants answer the questions that they feel they have enough knowledge to answer and can answer “I don’t know” for those that are outside of their expertise.

What happens after participants take the survey?

Once organizational participants have taken the survey, the survey is closed. The online system analyzes the survey data to produce report scores and recommendations. Then, a trained iCAT facilitator sets a time to lead a small group of organizational staff and board members in an in-person conversation about iCAT results, which will be available in an online report.

After the meeting, the organization’s Executive Director will receive a link to the online report so he or she can review it and share with a wider group of stakeholders. KBF will also receive the report.

Are survey responses anonymous?

Yes, they are.  The data is reported in the aggregate but no one can see individual responses.

Where can i get more information on the iCAT?

The iCAT was created by Algorhythm, an independent company building ready-to-use tools for nonprofit organizational capacity assessment and youth development programs. You can find more information on the iCAT by clicking the button below, or emailing info@algorhythm.io.

The above FAQ was created for KBF by Renee Ruben Ross Consulting.