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Online Self-Assessment

Measuring Your Performance on the Five Elements Standards

For each standard you will choose which of four performance levels most accurately describes your organization. The 58 standards fall into these Five Elements of a Healthy Nonprofit:
  • Governance & Boards
  • Fundraising & Financial Management
  • Communications & Relationships
  • Planning, Technology, & Administration
  • Management & Culture
The Self-Assessment allows you to check how you have addressed the operational factors that help you manage risk, deploy your staff and volunteer resources effectively, and put your passion into action. Whatever your assets as an organization are presently, they can become more powerful if you have the basics of nonprofit management firmly in place.

Two ways to benefit

We recommend that a group of people, including key board members, complete the Self-Assessment. However, if only one person wants to complete it on behalf of the organization, instructions are available below.

Good: One person takes the online assessment

If you are going to complete the Self-Assessment without engaging others in your organization, you can proceed to the directions and the Self-Assessment.

Better: A team of people in the organization works together to complete the self-assessment

Your results will be more useful and accurate if at least four people familiar with the organization participate in the Self-Assessment. Although the executive director or CEO may have a good sense of many of these measures, it is worthwhile to get the perspectives of other well-informed stakeholders, including board members. Organizations with no staff or a small staff should also consider including highly involved volunteers.
  1. Each person downloads a print copy of the Self-Assessment and the instructions for participants using the link below
  2. Set a three-hour meeting. You may not use all of the time but your want to be able to complete the process in one session. Designate a timekeeper, a facilitator, and someone to keep track of the final scores and put them into the online Self-Assessment
  3. In advance of the group meeting, each person scores their responses on a paper copy, providing honest answers for the areas they know about.
  4. In the assessment meeting, quickly write up your scores for each standard on a white board or flip chart. Discuss any significant differences among the scores and decide on the final score you will enter into the online Self-Assessment. The discussion you have is valuable as it will help you understand different perspectives within your organization and increase the accuracy of your scores.

After your meeting, enter the agreed upon scores into the online Self-Assessment. You will receive an e-mail with links to top-level recommendations and, as an attachment, a report showing your scores for each standard, element, and overall. This results will also be displayed on bar chart that gives you a quick look at your organization's performance. Knowing where you stand points the way toward making your organization more effective and resilient.

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