News & Views

A blog for those interested in what affects, motivates and drives the New York City Nonprofit Sector — written by CRE’s crackerjack consulting team. We hope you use this space to share your thoughts, ask questions and engage in conversations about our city, social justice and the nonprofit sector.

Why do a Needs Assessment?

 In plain language, a needs assessment will help you determine whether your proposed work is truly necessary.  It is important to know this before you begin: fundraising is a challenge under any circumstances, but it will be impossible if your organization does not address a real need that other groups do not. A needs assessment is an opportunity to ask yourself (as others will ask you later): Why now and why you?

 

The purpose of a needs assessment is to:

 

  • Understand the extent of the problem.
  • Gather the information about all the services that are available to your target population.
  • Identify the gaps in the services available to your target population.

A needs assessment is also a great opportunity to involve current or potential program participants in the planning process. Ask them about their needs and about what gaps they see in the services available to them.  This will help you design a program that is truly responsive to your target population.

 

Whether your data collection is formal or informal, at the end you should be able to answer four questions:

  • What do the individuals who are part of your target community identify as their key needs?
  • What needs are not being met by other organizations serving this target population?
  • Does the need you have identified fit within your organization’s mission or statement of purpose as captured in your incorporation papers?
  • Do you have within your group of skills, experiences, and connections to the target audience that will enable you to address this need effectively?

Use this chart to guide you through the process of a needs assessment. The completed chart should be used to inform your group’s choices about its programs and to form the basis for its case statement for funding.

 

Find us on:  CRE on Twitter CRE on Facebook  

News and Views

Tags

media Valyrie Laedlein Government News board and staff relations New York Times computers executive fundraising postponed event website, resources, announcements Pavitra Menon CRE Tips Beth Kobliner Daring to Lead Maria Mottola Nonprofit Data CRE News Sector Research jobs Michael Hickey Ximena Rua-Merkin civic engagement 30th Anniversary I.T. without I.T. proposal writing Louisa Hackett Nonprofit Tools grantmakers collaborations guest blogger staff community handling the unexpected Nonprofit News Hurricane Sandy HIV/AIDS services providers nonprofit mergers government Huffington Post Harvard Kennedy School Barbara Blumenthal Fran's Corner Pamela Dicent generative Data Starved Needs Assessment Volunteers Interns Ero Gray lower Manhattan bookkeeping Mark Light Philanthropic Collaborative nonprofit management RFP Development Survey Mohan Sikka Nonprofit Quarterly Bill Ryan Neighborhood Based Capacity Building Initiative hard times grantmakers for effective organizations Client News National and Community Service Rashid Littlejohn Randall Quan NYS Budget Albany record keeping CRE Executive Search United Way of NYC New York City Government Useful Links publications nonprofit accountability Alliance for Nonprofit Management Fran Barrett Advocacy evaluation Karen Erdos executive transition announcment nonprofit start-ups Funding Updates Holly Delany Cole NYCCCOC tips National Committee of Responsive Philanthropy board leadership Featured Items internal controls What is Core? foundations Stanford Social Innovation Review leadership President Obama strategic alliances nonprofit ownership case statement mergers House Party Jean Lobell Governance as Leadership Rona Taylor Government Updates IT arts Board of Directors queens nonprofit leaders Jeff Ballow harvard business school capacity building Peter Block cre Nonprofit Sustainability Barbara Turk HR Without HR New York Community Trust New York Foundation rockaways New York MAC AIDS Fund Coaching CRE POV accountability