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Assessment Resources

Using a self-assessment is one of the most effective and efficient ways to get people in an organization on the same page. An assessment can surface differing views of the organization's practices and allow you to share information, so people have a common understanding and focus. Many times an assessment will call your attention to important areas of organizational capacity you may be overlooking.

Assessments are great tools to incorporate into staff and board retreats, as a precursor to strategic planning or as a part of due diligence for organizational mergers or partnerships.

The following is a list of self assessments and survey tools available for free or low-cost from 501 Commons or other organizations. Except for the staff climate survey all are “standards-based” and “behaviorally anchored.”  ­Standards-based means the survey is based on a set of standards that represent best practices in the area being assessed. Behavorially anchored means that the respondent chooses from several descriptions rather than just a numerical scale.

Free or Low-Cost Assessment Tools



All areas of capacity


501 Commons Five Elements Self-Assessment-all areas of organizational capacity  Followup consultation available for a low fee.

Free - Instructions and Self-Assessment

The Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT) measures four core capacities – leadership, adaptability, management, and technical capacities – as well as organizational culture.  Developed by TCC

Core Capacity Assessment Tool: Pricing for the CCAT is based on the number of organizations taking the CCAT—not on the number of users. The CCAT is priced as follows:

  • 1 CCAT: $350
  • 2-9 CCATs: $300 each
  • 10-24 CCATs: $275 each
  • 25-50 CCATs: $250 each

Marguerite Casey Foundation Organizational Assessment - OCAT adapted for social service organizations

Marguerite Casey Foundation Organizational Assessment Tool  [Excel download]

Organizational Capacity Assessment Tool  – All areas of organizational capacity

Free McKinsey/VPP OCAT

Social Impact Assessment

Free - McKinsey - Social Impact Assessment


Specific areas of organizational capacity (Review and customized improvement plan available.)

Volunteer Management Assessment

Available from 501 Commons. Created by Energize, Inc. & UWKC/501 Commons.

Financial Fitness Assessment – Financial Management

501 Commons: $300-600, includes review

Development Capacity Assessment

Available from 501 Commons. Created by Altruist Partners & 501 Commons: $300, included in Catalyst program

Emergency Preparedness Assessment

501 Commons: $300, included in Prepare/Respond/Serve program

Human Resources Audit

501 Commons: $300

Staff Climate Survey

501 Commons: Depends on staff count

Board Survey

501 Commons: $300-600 per organization, depending on consulting needs.