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Organizational Assessment

Developed for the Long Island Community Foundation by Patricia Sparks, M.S.W. ’01, and modified by Ann Marie Thigpen, director, Center for Nonprofit Leadership, 2007 

This comprehensive organizational assessment instrument, originally developed for the Long Island Community Foundation by Patricia Sparks, M.S.W. ’01, is a useful learning tool. The center wants to enable nonprofit organizations to determine where they stand in critical areas of organizational infrastructure and functioning. This assessment can help you get a clear picture of your organization.

Used as a self-assessment, this instrument will highlight areas where an organization is strong and alert it to those that might need attention. Regular assessment and acting on the results can help organizations sustain their strengths and consider preventive approaches to any potential problem areas. The assessment can be used on its own or as part of a larger organizational development, strategic planning or consulting process. You can also select segments from the assessment and use them as single entities.

The assessment consists of a series of questionnaires, one in each of the following areas:

  • Mission
  • Board governance
  • Planning
  • Resource development
  • External relations
  • Administration and management
  • Executive leadership
  • Finance
  • Human resources
  • Program planning and evaluation
  • Space, facilities, systems, technology

Not every item on every questionnaire will apply to all organizations but most will have some relevance.

For simplicity and consistency, all questions call for yes/no responses. Some questions ask for additional details and descriptions.

Each questionnaire indicates who should complete it. In some instances the questionnaire is to be completed by one person, in others by more than one. Those completed by more than one person should be considered individually and also consolidated for a collective perspective.

Taken together, the responses to the questionnaires can help you gauge the health of your organization. Completing the assessment will require an investment of time and effort, but digesting and acting on the results will pay off in an even more effective organization and one with greater prospects for long-term success.

If you would like to identify technical assistance resources to address your organizational needs, contact the Center for Nonprofit Leadership by email, centerfornonprofitleadership@adelphi.edu or phone 516.877.4429.

We hope this assessment tool will be of assistance to Long Island’s nonprofits and welcome feedback from users.

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