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How Do You Know if Your Non Profit is Healthy??

Updated: Aug 29

This is probably the most pertinent question to ask, particularly in times like these... Organizations are comprised of numerous moving pieces and parts that, when in relationship, form the macro and micro structures of an agency. The alignment of these parts is critical to produce an efficient and effective operation. The Organizational Poverty Matrix, found in Dr. Lydia's book, Organizational Poverty: Valuing Human Capital in Non Profit Settings, serves as a unit of analysis by which to evaluate the abundance of an agency, in relation to the health of its infrastructure, resources, staff, and legacy. This knowledge is crucial to exposing impoverished beliefs and actions, which stem from a place of lack. The model presents a holistic view of common pitfalls that can plague non-profits. Each category, though significant in its own right, is also part of the larger organizational picture. Decisions and changes made in each category significantly impact the other three corresponding areas.

Adaptable Infrastructure

1) Does the internal structure of the organization serve as an effective foundation for the achievement of agency vision, mission, and objectives?

2) Is the organizational culture healthy enough to withstand the ebbs and flows of leadership, fiscal, and regulatory compliance changes?

3) Have functional systems of checks and balances been created to assess decision-making processes and structural gaps or misfits within the agency?


Resourcefulness & Collaboration

1) Is the organization efficiently and effectively utilizing all internal and external resources at its disposal?

2) Are financial resources efficiently assessed, stewarded, and distributed with an eye toward the achievement of the agency vision and mission?

3) Are knowledge management and communication structures effectively facilitated within the organization?


Staff Development

1) Does the agency implement best practices in the on-boarding, training, evaluation and disciplinary functions of staff management?

2) Are there structures set in place to effectively evaluate, address, and prevent workplace stress and staff burnout?

3) Does the agency champion the development of employee competence and mastery of job tasks and roles, particularly those of mid-management supervisors?


Organizational Sustainability

1) Does the agency actively engage in succession planning for all agency leaders, including the Board of Directors?

2) Does the agency regularly create plans and implement effective strategies for fund development, donor cultivation, and fiscal contingency planning?

3) Are relevant bodies of knowledge – organizational history, changes in vision, direction, or strategy – effectively communicated and archived within the agency?


Use our complete Organizational Health Assessment Template to learn more about what's happening in your agency!


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