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Capacity is a measure of the community building potential of teams. Knowing the capacity of a team helps us provide support through programs and guides that are appropriate to their current situation.

Measuring Capacity

Capacity is measured by looking at three different factors:

  • What are the community building resources on a team?
  • What are the contribution paths volunteers can use to get involved?
  • What data is available to provide visibility into contributor activity?

Each of these areas can be measured as high, medium or low and the combination of the three measurements provides a high, medium or low measurement of capacity for a team.


Resource measurements are made by looking at who on a team is actively involved in community building:

High Team has one or more people dedicated to community building (Community Builder)
Medium Team has one or more people spending part of their time on community building (Steward)
Low Team has no one actively spending time on community building


Path measurements are made by looking at the documented set of steps new contributors can take to successfully contribute to a project:

High Team has a fully documented contribution path
Medium Team has a partially documented contribution path
Low Team has no documented contribution path

Note: People may still be able to get involved in a project without a documented contribution path. There will be volunteers willing to figure out what to contribute to and how to contribute, but as Mozilla grows bigger the ability for someone to do that gets harder and harder.


Data measurements are made by looking at the type of community data available to a team to give them insight into contributor activity.

High Team has an automated dashboard
Medium Team has some manually maintained data
Low Team has no community data available


Leverage is measured by comparing the number of staff working on a project to the number of volunteers working on the project. For many non-profits and open source communities, leverage can be as high as 1 staff : 200 volunteers.

Improving Capacity

The People team is here to help teams improve their community building capacity so that they are more effective at bringing volunteers onto their projects. Contact David Boswell if you are interested in getting help with community building.

Plans for Improving Low Capacity Teams

  • Pick someone on your team to devote a few hours each week to community building efforts
  • Have that person start going to Grow Mozilla discussions
  • Work through the Designing projects for participation workshop on a team call
  • Create a spreadsheet where you can start manually adding data about community activities

Plans for Improving Medium Capacity Teams

Plans for Improving High Capacity Teams

  • Dedicate at least one person to full-time community building activities
  • Have community builders attend Community Building Meetups to take part in planning and knowledge sharing activities
  • Set leverage ratio targets in team's goals process
  • Analyze available community metrics to audit and optimize contribution paths
  • Implement a volunteer recognition and development plan to keep volunteers engaged