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Best Practices Assessment


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Nonprofit Best Practices

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Best Practices Assessment

  1. 1. An Assessment for Nonprofit Best Practices (The questions below require a Yes or No answer. Each Yes answer receives 2 points, a No answer receives a 0.) Overall Score: ___________(of a possible 100) Note: The score is not as important as demonstrating where an organization needs to take action or make changes. The divisions in bold are arbitrary benchmarks for effectiveness, which have circulated for years without attribution. It’s a convenient way to categorize the 50 questions. Feel free to use this and send to others. Our only request is the our firm, Resource Development Counsel (RDC), be credited. If you would like assistance in working through these questions, contact Robert Miss, Founder of RDC Mission is stated in 25 words or less. 1. _____ Is there a brief mission statement, easily repeated by a board member or supporter? 2. _____ Does each program or service have a written statement of purpose? 3._____ Is there a consistent practice of providing presentations to the board regarding aspects of programs and services? 4._____ Is there a written strategic plan which was formulated in the last 3 years and has the plan been reviewed in the last 6 months? 5._____ Was there an annual board/staff retreat conducted in the last 12 months? 6._____ Are the articles of incorporation and the bylaws available for public review? 7._____ Have the bylaws been updated in the past five years? When, with what result? 8._____ Does the board meet on a fixed, regular basis? 9._____ Is an agenda prepared in advance of each board meeting as a collaboration between the executive director and board chair? 10.____ Is the board meeting agenda always circulated to the board in advance? 11.____ Is there an organization chart? 12.____ Is there a basic flyer describing the mission, services, achievements of the organization? Developed by: Resource Development Counsel
  2. 2. 13.____ Is there a Web site for the organization? A printed annual report is produced. 14.____ Is there an audit committee? 15.____ Is there a conflict of interest statement for board members? 16.____ Is the annual report circulated to donors and supporters? 17.____ Does the board have directors’ & officers’ insurance? 18.____ Is there a finance committee of the board? 19.____ Did the board approve the current year’s annual budget? 20.____ Did the board take responsibility for hiring the current independent auditor? 21.____ Are the IRS Form 990 filings for the past three years accessible for review by board members and the public when requested? Fifty-percent or more of gifts and grants come from individuals. (The national average is approximately 85%.) 22.____ Is there a development committee of the board? 23.____ Is there a staff person in charge of fundraising? 24.____ Does the director of development have direct access to the development committee? 25.____ Is there a written statement or case explaining why people should support the organization? 26.____ Was there an annual fundraising plan prepared for the current year? 27.____ Is there a system for recording donations and thanking donors? Developed by: Resource Development Counsel 2
  3. 3. Board members are directly responsible for the largest gifts from any source in the past year. 28.____ Were there board members directly responsible for the largest gifts from any source in the last 12 months? 29.____ Did every board member make a cash contribution to the organization in the last fiscal year? Net income from special events is 20 percent or less of all other sources. 30.____ Is the income from fundraising events always calculated as net of expenses? 31.____ Is the net income from fundraising events 20% or less of all other sources? Three foundations and three corporations have an ongoing relationship with the organization. 32.____ Were there at least 3 corporations that had a relationship with the organization last year and carrying over into this year? 33.____ Were grants received from at least 3 private foundations during this past year? 34.____ Is there a calculated overhead rate to be used when applying for grants? Every board member and every volunteer has a job description. 35.____ Is there a nominating committee operating on an ongoing basis? 36.____ Is there a written procedure for inviting a new member to the board? 37.____ Is there a general job description for board members? 38.____ Are there job descriptions for the board chair and committee chairs, for volunteers? 39.____ Is there a document stating what expectations there are for board members? Developed by: Resource Development Counsel 3
  4. 4. Term limits are strictly observed by the board. 40.____ Are there board term limits? 41,____ Is there a diversity in age, gender, ethnicity, and constituency represented on the board? 42.____ Is there a requirement to attend a set number of board meetings per year? 43.____ Does the board perform an annual review of the executive director? 44.____ Is there a written emergency succession plan for the executive director’s position? Every board member, senior staff, and major donor has toured the organization’s site or sites and has met members of the constituency served. 45.____ Is there an orientation procedure for new board members and new employees? 46.____ Is there an annual activity to determine the current needs of the constituency served, such as a consumer survey or focus groups? 47.____ Is there an annual summary which reports the outcomes of the programs and services of the organization? Senior staff and board members serve on local and regional committees related to the mission. 48.____ In the past 12 months has the organization collaborated with another nonprofit on a project benefiting the community? 49.____ Does the director of development belong to a professional fundraising association? 50.____ Are funds allocated for staff training and attendance at professional meetings? Developed by: Resource Development Counsel 4