An assessment of the organization can give the board a sense of how they see the organization and how it functions. If the community is involved in the assessment, then your agency can get an idea about how you are viewed outside of your organization. Assessments should highlight the organization’s strengths and weaknesses and identify areas for improvement.

An assessment of an organization is a snapshot at a moment in time that reveals the organization’s strengths and weaknesses at that moment. When your board of directors completes an organizational assessment, they are saying “We’re interested in knowing how we’re doing!” Even an organization that is not experiencing any difficulties can find an organizational assessment valuable, since it can also reveal the individual perceptions and levels of knowledge of board members.

Information gathered through an organizational assessment must be interpreted carefully. There is no “perfect” score. An assessment enables you to compile somewhat subjective information regarding how the individuals completing the assessment perceive your organization. The results also provide you with indicators of organizational performance.

In addition, assessment questions should not be viewed as guidelines that your organization must follow. For example, the assessment may indicate a “weakness” if everyone responds that they never had a board orientation session. How ever, your organization may use a different format to educate your board when they’re elected. It is not necessary to initiate a board orientation session when you are using an effective substitute.

Adapted from
Missouri Association of Community Arts Agencies
Filebox Organizational Development Manual and Legal & Financial Primer