At Common Ground, we engage with inspiring organizations who share a common mission: to improve the lives of people and strengthen the communities in which they live.
Because we believe in the power of social profit organizations*, we want you to be dynamic, powerful, and effective. We want to see you achieve your mission and make the world a better place as a result. We have created this strategic (rather than comprehensive) assessment tool in order to help you make solid choices that will strengthen the capacity of your organization as quickly and efficiently as possible.
We believe in the capacity dividend—the idea that strategic investments in capacity offer “returns” in the form of greater efficiency, effectiveness, and ultimately greater social impact. Using an appropriate version of this tool, we will help you get to the root causes of the problems you face and work together to identify and implement practical solutions.
Our approach will feel different. We work hard to tie these efforts directly to your mission. We find that when organizations link capacity investments directly to purpose, people take it more seriously, invest more effort, and the change is more profound.
Building capacity dissolves differences.
It irons out inequalities.
We also want you to build capacity in order to reach more people, more effectively. This means you need to ensure that you manage and monitor your programs well; that your donors can trust you and see where their money goes; that you make decisions in a timely and transparent way; that you look after your valuable staff; and that you show the world the impacts your work is achieving.
This tool can help you do that by benchmarling you against many of the standards with which an effective small or medium sized organization operates. You can think of this as a measurement of your strengths and weaknesses, or as an aspirational framework for future organizational development. Either way, we think it will help you meet your important goals.
* We use the term social profit—rather than non-profit or NGO—to emphasize the importance of our sector. Our work actively creates benefits for society, it generates a new kind of profit, and it adds value. This language better captures the work that we do and resonates well with individual donors.