Cross-post: Finding—and Using—the Right Tool for the Job

  • By Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, August 3, 2018

A Landscape Scan of Assessment Tools

Prithi Trivedi and Jennifer Wei of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation recently wrote about the new landscape scan of organizational assessment tools that the foundation commissioned. This post originally appeared on Philanthropy New York’s website. To read the complete post, please visit their website.

Nonprofits come in many shapes and sizes. They focus on different issues, and work in different geographies. But across the board, in order to navigate organizational challenges and adapt to changing contexts, nonprofits need, first, to be able to gauge organizational health. This can prepare them to build the internal capacity needed to tackle the issues they may face, and to be as effective as possible. But what is the best way to assess the health of a nonprofit—what tools exist, and how are they best used?

This is what the Hewlett Foundation’s Effective Philanthropy Group were curious to discover, so we commissioned a landscape scan of organizational assessment tools to learn about which tools exist and how they can help both funders and nonprofits better understand a nonprofit’s health and capacity needs. Organizational assessment tools can help nonprofits by offering frameworks to assess key areas of capacity—including strategic focus, leadership, governance, human resource capacity, financial and fundraising structure, and learning and evaluation ability.

We worked with Informing Change, a consulting firm in Berkeley, California, who produced a database of 91 comprehensive organizational assessment tools, checklists, and guides, as well as an accompanying memo based on interviews with funders and nonprofits. There were many rich findings from the scan, but a few stood out to us:

Head over to Philanthropy New York’s website to continue reading.