Step 5: Evaluate Your Programs and Services

  1. Briefly describe your current programs and services.
  2. Which of these would you like to expand? WHY? (This is a crucial question. You should have evidence from your research in step 3 that your constituents want you to expand these programs and services.)
  3. Match each program to the constituencies you identified in step 3.
  4. What is the geographic range of each program?
  5. What is the objective of each program? Do you measure the effectiveness of each program? Do you have hard data to show how successful each program is?
  6. What special procedures or capabilities does your organization have for doing what it does? Examples: unique volunteer training, customized computer software, specialized counseling skills, publishing capabilities, etc.
  7. What special networks, contacts, and relationships does your organization have in place for getting your products and services to your clients? Examples: linkages with distributors, contacts with publishers, service contracts with corporate employee assistance programs, collaborations with other nonprofits in your field.
  8. Do your key constituents identify your organization with your programs? What do they consider to be the strengths and weaknesses of each program? (See the results of your research in step 3.)
  9. Are all your programs compatible with your mission? If not, decide whether to drop incompatible programs or expand your mission to include them. (It's perfectly O.K. to expand your mission. In fact, the broader your mission the more flexibility you have to meet people's needs.)
  10. Do you have a program, service, or product you could sell to other organizations or to the public? For example: Could you turn your expertise on a subject into a book or training session that would help other nonprofits while earning a fee for you?
  11. What new programs would you like to add? Are they compatible with your mission? Are they needed? Are they wanted? How do you know?
  12. What resources (staff, money, collaborative relationships) do you have in place to expand programs or add new ones?

WHAT YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED:

You know which programs to emphasize to potential donors (the ones that are working well and are clearly identified with your organization).  You have hard evidence that these programs have changed lives.  You also have an idea of how you might turn new or existing programs into money-makers.