A 360-Degree Organizational Assessment is a tool for gathering information that can be used to help senior management and board members gain a better understanding of how your organization is doing, to help make better strategic decisions. Just as there are 360 degrees in a circle, the 360-Degree Organizational Assessment places the organization at the center of a circle and looks at it from the viewpoint of its many stakeholders.
In a 360-degree assessment, the board seeks feedback from those who stand around the outside of the circle as well as inside it: this can include clients, the wider community, volunteers, donors, funders, and staff.
Consider asking staff to anonymously complete a questionnaire to get their perspective on the agency’s strengths and weaknesses. On the questionnaire, make it clear that these comments are one way, not the only way, the board is conducting the assessment. Here are some sample survey statements:
How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements:
Board members can conduct a series of telephone interviews with foundation and government program officers, in which a board member asks, for example, for comments on the quality of written proposals submitted, quality of communication and interaction with the agency, the agency’s reputation in the community, and suggested areas for improvement or change. Here is an excerpt from a sample interview script:
“As you know from the letter you received last week, [Organization] is conducting a 360-degree assessment of our organization. I’m a board member of [Organization], and I want to ask you a few questions…
Staff and board members can conduct telephone interviews with major donors and key volunteers, asking for feedback on how well the agency involves and informs them, and seeking perceptions about the agency’s effectiveness. Here are some sample questions:
Consider holding one or two focus groups with clients or patrons, facilitated by an experienced focus group leader, where they can give feedback on current services and unmet needs. A more extensive client survey can involve a written questionnaire, a telephone survey, or in-person interviews. Some examples of questions:
What you do with the information depends on what information you receive.
For example, maybe funders inform you that grant reports are well-written but often late. This information should go to the Executive Director. Maybe staff consistently report satisfaction or dissatisfaction with specific aspects of the organization; these can be useful information for the management team.
To learn more about non-profit organizational governance, come to an upcoming workshop:
Click here to register Wednesday, November 21, 2018. 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Click here to register Saturday, June 22, 2019. 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
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