Nonprofit Management Assessment

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Challenge: As nonprofits secure more resources, they grow. As they grow, it is important to pay attention to how management increases in sophistication as revenues expand. Most nonprofit leaders don’t have a framework for thinking about how their organization is growing in capacity over time. They also lack a way to measure that change. One of the most difficult challenges an Executive Director faces is how to engage the Board of Directors in a substantive discussion about how the organization is growing and should grow. This nonprofit management assessment tool provides a common table of information around which to have this critical discussion.

Response: Fio Partners developed our nonprofit management assessment tool, The Strategic Growth Guide (Level One) and The Key Tasks and Indicators (Level Two), to solve this problem. We use this nonprofit management assessment tool most often to help an organization define its strengths and weaknesses during a planning process but it can be a useful exercise at any point when questions are being raised about the need for investment in increasing management capacity.

Level One: A standardized nonprofit management assessment tool that benchmarks where each management system in an organization is relative to the developmental cycle of a nonprofit organization. Executive Leaders, along with other staff and/or Board members, can use this guide to determine their organization’s over all stage of development (Idea, Start Up, Growth, or Established) and to assess whether the development of internal management systems is aligned with their over all development and future needs. Ten management dimensions are captured in the tool and the results page summarizes in graph form how well developed an organization’s infrastructure is.

Level Two: The purpose of this tool is to allow a group of organization members to evaluate key aspects of the organization’s functioning in depth. For example, if you wish to look closely at Financial Management as a system, you can convene appropriate staff and Board and use the Key Tasks and Indicators to guide the discussion of where you are and where you need or want to be. For each Key Task listed in the Growth Guide, a set of indicators provides a deeper set of measures to determine how well the Key Tasks are being carried out. (Link to sample results page for one Indicator) Indicators are provided for a total of ten dimensions: Program Strategy Development, Human Resources, System Participation, Marketing & Public Relations, Fund Development, Information management, Financial Management, Risk Management, Physical Plant, Quality Assurance. The results can be tallied by System and then graphed to show how well your organization is doing in each area. The value of this measurement is that it can be repeated and progress compared to previous levels, allowing an organization to measure how it is changing over time.