What Is Capacity Building for Supervisors

The Foundation of VISTA Service

VISTA at whiteboard


Types of Service

VISTA members engage in capacity building. How is that different from direct service?

Click each term to find out:


Direct Service or Capacity Building?

Decide which activities in the list below are direct service and which build capacity.

Drag the phrases to the appropriate categories and then click Submit.

PDFAccessible Format PDF


When to Provide Direct Service

Although your goal as a VISTA supervisor is to help VISTAs build the capacity of your organization and community, at times direct service may be part of their assignment. The following example shows when a VISTA might be asked to do direct service.

Click the photo to hear about Michelle's direct service.


Benefits of Direct Service

Look at the list of benefits Michelle got from doing direct service. Select those that also helped her to build the capacity of the program and then click Submit.



VISTA leading meetingCongratulations! You have finished this course.

Capacity building is the foundation of VISTA service. As a VISTA supervisor, it's important to recognize the difference between capacity building and direct service.

Before you ask a VISTA member to do direct service, consider: how will this service help him build the capacity of your community and organization?

Your goal as a VISTA supervisor is to help VISTAs leave a lasting impact on the organizations and communities served.