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4Cs Assessment Framework
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A Short Guide to the 4Cs 



    Capacity          Capability        Connection         Credibility            



About the 4Cs Framework

 The 4Cs provide the basis for infrastructure support organizations in the philanthropy field to plan and assess the difference that they intend to and do make.  As an enabling framework and assessment tool, it has been designed as a common global system for application at the individual organizational level.  It has four main purposes:  


·     To help inform planning of activity

·     To demonstrate and communicate value added of the work

·     To understand the difference being made

·     To learn and improve practice


The Framework recognises the difference that infrastructure organizations make in respect of:


 Capacity       -    Building resources 

 Capability     -    Building skills, knowledge and expertise

 Connection   -    Building relationships

 Credibility      -    Building reputation, recognition and influence

The 4Cs Framework has two different components: The 4Cs Framework itself and an accompanying tool, the Global Scale Rating.


Why the 4Cs Framework 

What is the value of infrastructure support organizations serving philanthropy? That was a key question, and area for further work, identified on WINGS report Infrastructure in Focus: A Global Picture of Organizations Serving Philanthropy. To start answering the question, the report identified (through a survey of foundations worldwide) some of the main benefits of philanthropy support organizations including how they support foundations achieve their mission, how they help develop practice, how they influence their operating environmentIt was recognised that much of the support is not always tangible because oftentimes, it relates to processes and relationships.  As a result much, of this invisible work is under-valued and under-funded. 

 The need to develop an enabling framework for infrastructure organisations to use to measure the changes to the field that they are working in was evident.  This became the starting point for a joint WINGS and DAFNE peer-learning process which involved 25 organizations over an 18 month time period. Through this experience, participants learned by adapting and testing materials from our meeting, which in turn, ensured that the 4Cs Framework was built by the field, for use by the field. 

 Application of the 4Cs framework will help those involved in infrastructure support for philanthropy to not only measure their effectiveness in order to account for themselves, but also to learn and improve in a more systematic way.


Click here to learn more about methodology and process.


Meet the 4Cs Ambassadors!


Ongoing Work

The 4Cs Framework and Global Scale Rating Tool are both ongoing projects for WINGS and DAFNE. Check this space for the latest information, webinars, meetings, and news. If you have any questions, or would like to get involved, email Sarah:



  Global Scale Rating Tool   Download the Guidelines here.



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Tel. +55 11 3078-7299