Nonprofit Assessment Tools

DISCLAIMER: This list of organizational effectiveness resources is intended for informational purposes only. Inclusion does not constitute endorsement by Impact Foundation.


Board Source Board of Directors Self Assessment Survey
This $259 kit is designed to help nonprofit boards determine how well they are carrying out their responsibilities and to identify areas that need improvement. Confidential questionnaires allow board members to evaluate the board's performance as well as their own contribution. Objective summary reports based on results are prepared by BoardSource.


Council of Agency Executives Self Assessment (adapted from Council on Accreditation)
Free assessment tool for human service organizations of any size. Measures covered are:
- Ethical practice, rights & responsibilities
- Continuous Quality Improvement
- Organizational integrity
- Human resources
- Service environment
- Financial management
- Training & supervision
- Intake, assessment & service planning
- Service delivery
- Behavior management
- Administration & risk management
For use by executive director, senior management and board.


Drucker Foundation Self Assessment Tool
This tool is designed to assess the overall management system of a nonprofit including the environment in which it operates. It is used more for strategic positioning than operational improvement. Introductory set with 1 guide and 1 workbook is $38. Organizational set with Process Guide and 10 workbooks is $120. For use by board members in conjunction with senior management. Measures cover:
- Mission
- Customers
- Customer value
- Results
- Goals


Grantmakers for Effective Organizations Tool for Assessing Start-up Organizations
Free tool for startup organizations to anticipate and address questions and issues in a funding request that grant makers might raise during their decision-making process. Topics covered include:
- Governance/Board of Directors
- Executive Director/leadership
- Finances/financial management systems
- Human resources/staffing and policies and procedures
- Development/fundraising
- Mission and message, communications to external audiences


Greater Twin Cities United Way Checklist of Nonprofit Organization Indicators
Free checklist designed to help nonprofit organizations identify their administrative strengths and weaknesses and make improvements in the management operations. It can be used to achieve a beginning level of good management and improve existing management. It can also be a useful tool if an organization is experiencing management problems, to help pinpoint weaknesses so action can be taken or assistance sought to improve the organization's health. Very simple to use. Consists of a check-list of 3 ratings: met, needs work or not applicable. Areas covered include:
- Governance indicators
- Human resource indicators
- Planning indicators (organizational and program)
- Financial indicators
- Fundraising indicators


Innovation Network Organizational Assessment Tool
Innovation Network is a nonprofit organization that provides evaluation consulting, training and online tools. The free Organizational Assessment tool is designed to help organizations understand their strengths and become aware of areas in need of improvement. The tool is an online survey instrument that generates a feedback report immediately after the survey is submitted.


McKinsey Capacity Assessment Grid
A free on-line diagnostic instrument that can help organizations develop a solid picture of their current organizational capacity. The assessment grid can help an organization identify areas of strength and areas needing improvement, measure changes in capacity over time, and draw out different views within an organization regarding its capacity. The tool is for youth-serving organizations but also applies to many other areas of nonprofit service.
Areas of review include:
- Aspirations
- Strategies
- Organizational skills
- Human resources
- Systems and infrastructure
- Organizational structure


Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence
The principles and practices identified are based on values of quality, responsibility and accountability and intended to educate and provide a free tool for nonprofit organizations to evaluate their operations relative to other nonprofits, to support the growth and quality of the nonprofit sector, and to increase public understanding of the role and contributions of nonprofits. Principles and practices are described by a number of 'shoulds' and include:
- Mission and values
- Governance
- Human resources
- Financial management
- Charitable fundraising
- Public accountability and communications
- Public policy and advocacy
- Information and technology
- Partnerships and alliances


Supportive Care of the Dying Organizational Assessment System Grid
The free tool is consistent with JCAHO standards for palliative care programs. The assessment focuses specifically on care issues and does not cover other areas of organizational function (e.g. governance, financial management). The scope of the assessment includes:
- Standards: policies, procedures, standards of care, practice guidelines, strategy to identify population
- Organizational priorities: vision, goals and objectives, quality initiatives, management priorities and objectives, personnel education and competency standards
- Services: spiritual care, pain and symptom management, transition services, family services, emotional services for ill and caregivers, hospice, hospice approach available pre-hospice
Most useful to established nonprofit palliative care/hospice programs and smaller, freestanding programs in particular.


The Corporate Fund Board Self-Assessment Kit
The free Board Self-Assessment Kit allows nonprofit boards to assess their effectiveness in 12 different areas. Assessment results can provide a picture of where a board's strengths lie and areas to focus on for improvement. The 12 areas of board function assessed include:
- Board-staff roles
- Policy-making practices
- Fiscal management practices
- Fundraising practices
- Board structure and practice
- Board committees
- Board meetings
- Board membership and orientation
- Board-executive relationship
- Monitoring and evaluation practices


University of Wisconsin Extension Nonprofit Assessment Tool
This free tool is intended to guide group discussion about an organization's operations and to help groups learn more about the perceptions of different users. The grids cover:
- Strategic planning
- Resource development
- Board development
- Marketing
- Financial empowerment
- Social entrepreneurism
- Volunteer involvement
- Strategic alliance
- Outcome measures