Assessing your nonprofit organization is about seeing where your organization is today and determining where it needs to be going forward. It's about stopping, taking inventory, and reflecting on how the community sees you and your work.
Like any 360 assessment, it's important to do a "pulse" check of how your stakeholders see you from the "inside out".
1. Board of Directors
Sure you meet with your Board often to gain their insight, but have you ever had your Board and Executive Director have informal conversations within their networks about how the community sees your organization? These things are probably happening but the key here is being intentional about outreach and potentially bringing these insights to your next Board meeting for discussion.
2. Program Participants
What better way to assess the impact of your programs and organization than by speaking directly to those benefiting from your services. Find out what they need and what they think about you. What new programs can you develop or current programs that you can expand to fulfill their needs?
3. Funders and Community Resources
Money and resources make the world go round and to get them, you have to stay in tune with the changing needs of your funders and community partners. Talk about current and potential programs and impact. Find out how they see you versus other organizations.
This is not an ask for money, but a worthwhile relationship building activity setting the stage for when it's time to ask for money, a partnership or resources.
Looking at your organization from the inside out is an important exercise to advance the mission of your organization while incorporating feedback from those that matter most.
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Shavonn Richardson is Founder of Think and Ink Grant Consulting™ www.thinkandinkgrants.com. She is a grant writer, nonprofit consultant, speaker and also a member of the Grant Professionals Association.
Read this and other blog posts at Think and Ink Grants™ Blog