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Taking the Self-Assessment Solo

Getting Started

In this Self-Assessment, you will review 58 standards (10-15 for each of the Five Elements of a Healthy Nonprofit) and decide how your organization is doing at present. The Self-Assessment is designed as an educational tool, since the standards describe the desired practice. For each standard, you will choose a score from 1-4 (5 being "Not applicable").

After you are done, you will receive in an email with links to top-level recommendations and, as an attachment, a report showing your scores for each standard, element, and overall. You will also receive a 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.

How to approach the Self-Assessment

No assessment can capture the passion you have for your organization’s mission, the leadership qualities found in your staff and board, or the trust those in the community place in your organization. What this tool allows you to do, however, is to check to see if you have addressed the operational factors that help you manage risk, deploy your staff and volunteer resources effectively, and put your passion into action.

Most people will take about 45 minutes to complete the form. Honest, thoughtful answers will help you identify your priorities for improvement. There is no benefit to inflating your scores. Make your choice quickly without overthinking your response. And enjoy the experience!


  1. At the beginning of the Self-Assessment, you will be asked for some basic information, including contact information, so we can email your report when the Self-Assessment is completed.
  2. Review each standard and choose the response from Level 1 (limited) to Level 4 (very developed) that reflects your organization's performance.
  3. Be conservative: When you believe your organization is doing most of Level 2 and also some of level 3, be conservative and mark Level 2.
  4. Every question needs an answer, but it’s not necessary to complete everything in one sitting. You can save your work and pick it up later if you need time to reflect or to talk to colleagues. Just mark "Not Applicable" where you do not have enough information to answer and return to the self-assessment later to change the response, once you have the additional input or information you need.
  5. In the case where a standard does not apply to your organization, choose “Not applicable.” However, don’t be quick to assume that just because a standard is unfamiliar, it does not apply. Even large organizations sometime skip over important aspects of organizational effectiveness as they grow. If you are not doing something now, consider whether you should be doing it in the future.
  6. You will have an opportunity to review your responses before you submit them. Once submitted, scores will be calculated and a report will be emailed to you promptly.

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