NESC has developed a program tool which assists a nonprofit organization with an assessment of its organizational strengths and weaknesses. The program is based upon a detailed questionnaire aimed at bringing into focus an accurate picture of an organization’s current situation, its challenges and choices for the future. NESC consultants work with the organization in a mentoring/advising role. The work and analysis is performed by the staff and management of the organization, guided by the consultants—who may also enlist the help of other NESC functional experts, if the need arises.
The package was developed by NESC consultants Paul O’Neill and Sergio Sedita, who says, “With considerable research, we compiled a lengthy list of more than 100 questions that the head of any nonprofit organization should consider when reviewing the functionalities of the organization.”
What exactly is an organizational assessment?
It is a data gathering and diagnostic process in which management and staff step back from the day-to-day details of running the organization to look carefully at the bigger picture of the trends, forces and dynamics that are shaping current and prospective effectiveness in pursuit of mission.
Why do an organizational assessment?
Every nonprofit organization experiences periods of change – some internal and some external. It is highly beneficial to properly diagnose what is occurring and therefore be able to shift tactics and the allocation of scarce resources accordingly. In many cases, the organizational assessment is the first step in a broader planning, change or improvement process.
What makes NESC’s program tool unique?
First of all, NESC’s assessment is in two levels with respective sections:
Steps in the process include:
- Getting agreement on the scope of the effort
- Orienting all staff and board members
- Collecting data
- Analyzing and summarizing findings
- Developing recommendations and action plans
People at all levels of the organization must be involved.
Secondly, high quality NESC consultants are present in every step of the process. NESC Consultant Paul O’Neill says, “The consultants’ presence and mentoring/advisory efforts are vital to keeping the process on track. This enables participants to focus on the forest rather than the trees. Overall, to fully recognize areas of dysfunction, the needs to improve particular aspects of the organization’s structure and operations that are often identified during organizational assessment reviews.”
Sergio Sedita has been an NESC consultant since 1999 and was Regional Director for Long Island from 2008 until 2010. Previously he spent 39 years with Chemical Bank (now JPMorgan Chase) in a wide range of positions from Branch Management to Marketing and Product Development. He holds BA and MA degrees in economics from City University.
Paul O’Neill is the retired CEO of Yankee Alliance, a nonprofit hospital group purchasing/shared service organization with extensive operations in New England and New York State. He has extensive experience in operations management, procurement, business development and operations management. He is a graduate of Providence College.