Five Elements of a Healthy Nonprofit
A medical check-up is an important tool for maintaining and improving our personal health. It works the same for organizations. Take time now to pause and give your organization a check-up.
Assess your organization's health
We have made it easy to assess the health of your organization. While not everything important is easy to measure, a frank assessment of your organization can help you identify and prioritize your next steps.
Our model for a healthy nonprofit looks at these five elements:
- Strong governance and oversight
- Good management and a healthy organizational culture
- The resources to carry out your mission and accountable management of funding
- Communications and relationships with people who give you money, use what you create, help you meet your mission, and carry your message
- Efficient and effective programs, services, and administrative systems
The Self-Assessment will tell you how your organization is doing on 58 standards. Intrigued? Want to see how your organization measures up? We have two ways you can do this.
Option 1: Online Self-Assessment, results report, and recommendations
Gather a team of people who know the most about the organization. Three to five people would be good. Download a copy of the standards for everyone. Each person reviews the standards, focusing on the areas that relate to their work, marking the description that best reflects the organization's current practices.
The team then meets to go through the standards and decide on the statements that reflect performance. One person enters the scores into the online FREE Self-Assessment. You will receive an email with the results report and some recommendations/resources to help you improve. The team should meet again to discuss what improvements you want to prioritize.
Want some assistance so you can go deeper with the self-assessment? Consider Pathways. In addition to receiving the results report and general recommendations, our consultants will help your team identify priority areas for improvement and provide you with customized recommendations. The consultants provide 25-35 hours of consulting.
This short consultation includes six steps:
- The Pathways consultants meet with your team to learn about your organization and set the stage for the consultation.
- Team members complete the self-assessment in paper form (in their areas of knowledge).
- The consultants facilitate a discussion of the standards and the team selects the scores.
- After the discussion, a representative enters the agreed-upon scores into a personalized survey link and the results report and standard recommendations are emailed.
- The consultants and team meet to review the results and identify three priority areas for improvement.
- Finally, the consultants develop customized recommendations tailored to your chosen priorities and share them with the team.
Executives and boards always say "I don't know what I don't know." We can remove that worry. Wouldn't it be great to have a clear picture of your organization? To learn more about Pathways, contact Jan Burrell, Pathways Program Manager.
Learn More about the Five Elements
Visit each of the elements below. Answering these questions will give you a sense of where you have opportunities for improvement and what you might want to prioritize. If you need additional help, contact our free Information & Referral service.
Governance & Boards
The engagement and accountability of the board of directors is essential to a high-impact nonprofit.More About Boards
Fundraising & Financial Management
A nonprofit's mission can be accomplished only if it has the resources it needs.Take the First Step
Communications & Relationships
Relationships with donors, volunteers, staff, clients, and the community sustain your organization.Learn More
Planning, Technology, & Administration
Having a clear and well-resourced administrative mission will super-charge your organizational mission.Start Today
Management & Culture
The management skills and internal culture of the organization are more influential than a big bank account.Make Change Happen