Nonprofit organisations and social enterprises need to examine their progress at regular intervals for two important reasons:
- to check that what they are doing is in line with what they think they are doing, and
- to find out if anything of importance and relevance is not being done.
To do this easily and well, the Board needs a blueprint against which to measure its activities… and one that will easily show what is, and what is not being done. The blueprint also needs to give sufficient information to guide the Board in maintaining or improving what is being done, and introducing what is not being done.
Jean’s Nonprofit and Social Enterprise Organisational Health Check is a 16 page document, complete with worksheets - freely available by emailing Jean on email@example.com to request an immediate copy of Version 3 for your consideration, and adaptation as you wish.
‘Critical success factors’ provide such a blueprint. They include:
that enable a Board to monitor and evaluate the degree of success the organisation or venture is experiencing in achieving the purpose or objects for which it has been established – and providing quality services for Association or Company members, or service-users.
A critical success factor is a factor which, if not functioning or operating satisfactorily, may place the organisation, venture or services at risk. This checklist of critical success factors provides a reliable blue‑print for a
- monitor progress
- carry out a simple yet thorough internal evaluation
- identify critical success factors which are in place
- identify critical success factors which are not in place
- set some ‘short-term achievable goals’ to maintain or improve critical success factors which are in place, or
- set some ‘short-term achievable goals’ to introduce critical success factors which the committee agrees should be in place
Each critical success factor is given:
- a definition, and
- a set of components by which it can be recognised and measured.
Each component has an identity in its own right, and contributes directly to the successful (ie effective, efficient and humane) governance, management and operation of the organisation or venture.
Remember… ‘success’ is achieving the purpose or objects for which the organisation or venture has been established.
The 23 Critical Success Factors are:
- Funding and financial base
- Board membership and representation
- Communication channels
- Programs, projects and services
- Day-to-day operation
- Association or Company member or service-user access, equity and participation
- Association or Company member or service-user benefits
These Critical Success Factors cover governance, management and operation of the organisation or venture.
Jean’s 15-page Nonprofit Organisation and Social Enterprise Health Check
Version 3, dated January 2011, is available free of charge – and sets out the definitions and components of each CSF as listed above. A recommended process is set out to apply this ‘Blueprint’, together with a Group Activity to guide a Board and the senior staff person in planning and carrying out a thorough internal evaluation of the organisation’s critical success factors.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for your free PDF of this complete Health Check.
A companion document to Jean’s 15-page Health Check is Jean’s 34-page Making Ethics Work Toolkit, dated April 2011. Email email@example.com for your free PDF of this complete Toolkit.