Programs that make change happen in the world and in lives are built on more than good intentions and passion for the work. They can only work if they are supported by well developed systems, processes, and tools.
An organization can only meet its mission if it is also focusing on its "administrative mission." How effectively is your organization at planning ahead, leveraging technology, and putting in place administrative systems that support your work? You can gauge whether you are giving enough attention to your internal systems by answering these questions:
- Did the organization invest in efficient administrative systems that are right-sized to its needs?
- Does the organization deliver effective programs and services that have a demonstrable impact?
- Are there clear short-term, medium-term (1-2 years), and strategic (3-5 years) plans in place?
- Are the internal policies and procedures well defined and monitored for compliance and appropriateness?
- Does the organization regularly review and improve programs and management processes?
- Do decision-making processes include a wide array of perspectives and opinions?
- Are the organization goals clearly defined?
- Does the organization regularly monitor and report on progress towards meeting those goals?
- Is the organizational staffing and program structure regularly evaluated?
- Is technology being leveraged to support the organization's mission?
- Are the technology systems in place stable and secure?
- Are risks regularly assessed and action is taken to avoid harm to clients, employees, and volunteers?
If there are areas that you need to focus on, select three priorities and carve out time over the next six months to develop a plan and begin to address them. Call on board members, volunteers with professional skills or consultants to help guide you. Consider going beyond the assessment questions on our site and conduct a thorough organizational assessment. You can learn about self-assessment tools on the Assessment page in our Tools and Best Practices section.
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