iCAT Basics

What does the iCAT stand for?
The iCAT stands for the Impact Capacity Assessment Tool.
Who is the iCAT built for?
The iCAT is an organizational assessment, planning and evaluation tool that helps consultants, funders, parent organizations, associations of nonprofits and other intermediaries to better target their efforts in supporting and strengthening the nonprofits they work with.

The iCAT is well-suited to assess both large and small nonprofit organizations. For the purposes of the iCAT, a small nonprofit is defined as an organization having either a budget of below $150,000 and/or fewer than two full-time equivalent staff. For small nonprofits, the iCAT will not include questions about certain organizational subcapacities. These questions are removed because expecting small nonprofits to be performing in certain areas given their organizational size would unfairly lower their overall capacity scores.

What does it assess and what will be available in the iCAT report?
It assesses six key organizational capacities: Leading, Learning, Resource Generating, Planning, Managing, and Overseeing. Each of these six capacities also have a number of subcapacities. You can read more about these capacities and subcapacities here. The iCAT report includes a score for each capacity and subcapacity on a 100-point scale, a series of detailed and prioritized recommendations, and a capacity building plan. The report assists the intermediary organization and the nonprofit in identifying areas of strength and areas needing improvement so that the nonprofit can become a more high-performing organization that is better able to effectively deliver on its mission.
What is the research behind the iCAT?
A thorough meta-review of all research and evaluation studies of nonprofit capacity building strategies and initiatives was conducted to inform the development of the iCAT. Peter York, the Principal Developer of the iCAT, is a leading evaluator and researcher in the field, including previously designing standardized organizational assessment tools that have been used nationally and internationally, including for large scale studies. His expertise combined with the meta-review research and evaluation conclusions informed the development of the iCAT tool and its scales. It was then field-tested with nonprofits, in collaboration with funders and capacity builders, in order to validate the capacity and sub-capacity scales. As the iCAT data grow, Algorhythm will continue to re-test the the scales, as well as re-run predictive and prescriptive modeling to maintain the highest possible accuracy when it comes to the report conclusions and recommendations.

Purchasing and Upgrading

I am with a nonprofit that is not currently working with an intermediary organization. Can my organization still take the iCAT?
Yes! Contact us at support@algorhythm.io and we will direct you to an intermediary to work with.
I am an intermediary/funder/capacity builder, how do I purchase the iCAT?
Email us at info@algorhythm.io/icat to talk to someone about purchasing the iCAT.

iCAT Administration

How is the iCAT deployed to nonprofits?
To learn how to administer the iCAT to nonprofits, read through this tutorial.
What are groups?
Groups allow you to filter to a specific set of reports for organizations when looking at the portfolio view in the iCAT report and help you find reports of single organizations more easily. Below are examples of some types of groups:

  1. Programmatic Group: a group of reports for organizations that either deliver a similar type of programming (e.g. Youth Development, Advocacy, etc.) or a group of organizations to which your organization delivers a program (e.g. Technology, Board Development, etc.)
  2. Characteristic Group: a group of reports for organizations that are defined by distinct characteristics (e.g. Large Budget Organizations, East Coast Organizations, etc.)
  3. Time-based Group: a group of reports for organizations that are undergoing the assessment because they are already part of a time-delineated group (e.g. Spring 2016 Grantees, Summer Capacity Building Initiative, etc.)

Groups can be established under the “Report Groups” link under the Menu of your administrative account. Only Full Access administrators can establish groups.

Groups are at the report level, meaning different reports for the same nonprofit can fall under different groups. Reports can exist under multiple groups, and a group may have multiple reports from the same nonprofit organization.

What will nonprofits experience when taking the iCAT survey?
Nonprofit assessment participants (i.e. leaders and managers within the organization), who are identified by each nonprofit’s account manager, are sent emails with unique links to take the iCAT from support@algorhythm.io. These leaders and managers will each spend 20-30 minutes taking an online assessment. Responses are anonymous, and participants are permitted to select “Don’t Know” if they are unable to answer. An “organization lead” will answer an additional set of background questions about the organization.
What information is required of the organization lead?
The organization lead (org lead), in addition to answering the assessment portion of the iCAT along with others from a nonprofit organization, will be required to provide the following information:

  • Organization Mission Statement
  • Sectors Served: the org lead will choose multiple options from a list of sectors that the nonprofit serves, such as community development, education, or healthcare
  • Programming Type: the org lead will choose the single, primary type of programming that the nonprofit provides, such as direct service, policy/advocacy, or research
  • Type of Groups Served: the org lead will choose multiple options from a list of group types that the nonprofit serves, such as young children, minorities, or policy makers
  • Operational Settings: the org lead will choose multiple options from a list of settings in which the nonprofit operates, such as a in school setting or at a community-based organization
  • Number of Active Board Members
  • Year of Incorporation

For organizations that are or plan on receiving capacity building support from an intermediary, the org lead will be asked to provide a grant amount if applicable. The org lead will also select the types of capacity building support they expect their organization to receive. These types of capacity building support fall under the six capacities. For example, the org lead may choose:

  • Evaluating advocacy or policy efforts
  • Enhancing the organization’s ability to raise funds from individual donors
  • Enhancing volunteer recruitment and retention
  • Enhancing the organization’s capacity to do effective marketing and sales
How many people and who should take the iCAT?
At least three people at a nonprofit must take the iCAT, including the organization lead. A maximum of 25 people can take the iCAT for a single organization. If any board members are assigned to complete the iCAT, at least one must complete before the report can be generated. If any executive leaders are assigned to complete the iCAT, at least one must complete before the report can be generated.

Ideally, all leaders and managers who are paid by or volunteer their time to a nonprofit should take the assessment. By leaders and managers, we are referring to anyone who plans for the allocation and/or manages the deployment of resources, including human and all other resources (e.g., space, facilities, technology, etc.). Please be mindful of maintaining a balance between board members and organizational staff. Unless, an organization has very few staff members, board members should represent no more than one third of the group taking the assessment. For organizations that have multiple sites, it is recommended that these organizations complete a single assessment.

How do I know what participants have completed the iCAT survey within an organization?
Go to your dashboard at icat.algorhythmio.wpengine.com. Intermediaries will see a full list of all of their nonprofits and be able to access the details of who has completed for each nonprofit. Each nonprofit account manager can also log in at icat.algorhythmio.wpengine.com to see the details of who has completed for their organization.
How can survey participants be added, edited, or deleted?
Survey participants may be added, edited, or deleted in the detailed view of each iCAT after the initial invitations to the iCAT have been sent. Participants may be added using the “Add Participant” button in the upper right of the list of participants. Participants cannot be edited directly. However, you may delete the participant that needs to be edited and add a new participant. Note that this will delete any survey response in progress and a new link will be sent. Participants can be deleted using the “Delete” button under the Actions column. The organizational administrator and any participants that have already completed the survey may not be deleted. Participants cannot be added or deleted once the report has been generated.


When will reports be generated?
Reports are generated automatically once all participants have completed or if someone chooses the “Run Report” function if there are enough participants completing. Reports can be run using this function if (1) at least three participants have completed, (2) the organization administrator has completed, (3) at least one executive leader has completed if any were assigned, and (4) at least one board member has completed if any were assigned.

Note: Reports are not generated automatically when the deadline has passed. Participants may not be added once the report has been generated.

How do I access reports?
Reports are available under the “Reports” page at icat.algorhythmio.wpengine.com.
How do I share reports with a nonprofit?
It is recommended that you first review the report for a nonprofit organization with them before giving them their own access to the report.

You may do the following to share a report with a nonprofit:

  1. Log in to icat.algorhythmio.wpengine.com
  2. Navigate to the organization in the Ongoing Assessment page
  3. Click “Allow Account Manager to View Report”
  4. The nonprofit will then be able to view the report through their account

Technical Support

What if I or someone at a nonprofit organization needs technical support with the iCAT?

If an organization contact or any of the iCAT participants needs technical support, they should contact support@algorhythm.io

What browsers does the iCAT work with?
There are minimal technological requirements to use the iCAT: access to the internet, basic computer skills and a modern, JavaScript enabled web-browser. We recommend you use the latest version of your browser of choice. The web browsers officially supported by Algorhythm and the iCAT are Google Chrome and Apple Safari. Each is a free download and free to install and use. Older versions of these browsers, Firefox, and Internet Explorer may work, but are not recommended, as they are not as well suited for the latest web technologies. We recommend using Google Chrome if possible.
What should I do if I forgot my username or password?

Go to icat.algorhythm.io/forgot_password  After submitting your email address, you will be emailed a link to create a new password.