How to use the tool

View TutorialAssessment tools help groups to take a look at issues occurring beneath the surface of their organization.  These issues are key to whether goals are met or not, and addressing them could be essential to the very survival of the organization. Because one member of an organization might see problems where another thinks things are fine, benchmarking also allows people to objectively evaluate their organization against best practices and approach solutions from a common platform.

A number of capacity building areas are evaluated in the Benchmarking Tool. At the start of each section, you will find a brief description of each area and why it is important to the capacity of an organization.

Each area has four levels of capacity, ranging from ‘What’s Capacity?’ to ‘High Level of Capacity’. In order to score your organization, look for the highest level of match. If your organization doesn’t quite match one level, then rate your organization in the next level down.

It is important to note that the tool is meant as a mechanism to help your organization, not to judge it! Organizations have different levels of capacity in different areas, and smaller and younger organizations often have less capacity. An assessment should be approached as a process rather than a survey.

Tool will be most useful when tied to the planning process of an organization. No organization will have high capacity across the board – every organization has strengths and weakness. The benchmarking tool is simply a mechanism to help your organization on its journey and to provide examples of good practices in capacity building so that organizations have an understanding of where to direct their capacity building goals.

Getting Started

  1. Pick the Players:  Decide who in your organization will work together to complete the benchmarking or assessment program.  It is best to involve a number of people, but if you are the only one available to do it, go for it: your organization will benefit from your efforts, and others may be able to join you!.
  2. Have a plan:  You may decide to work through the program together in a workshop or complete it individually with a follow-up group meeting to discuss the results. There is great value in working together to complete the tool, because much of the value of the benchmarking occurs in the conversations and collective understandings that emerge as you work through the process. However, there may be a variety of scenarios which make it preferable to complete the benchmarking tool individually. For example, if your board is located around the province and you decide not to teleconference, or members have many divergent opinions, or you want to ensure all thoughts and ideas are captured.
  3. Give yourself a deadline:  Pick a meeting date, and set aside enough time to complete the Benchmarking Tool. If it is being completed individually, determine when it is to be returned.
  4. Make the process fun:  In our experience, it always helps to have chocolate and other treats on hand! Completing the benchmarking may be a long process, so be sure to include a meal and nourishment breaks.
  5. Focus on Learning:  This is not a test!  Remember to treat this as a learning experience that you can repeat often.  This is an exploration of your organization and there are no wrong answers!
  6. Be adaptable and discerning:  If a section does not apply to your organization, leave it out. For example, you may not have a Board of Directors or staff members, so feel free to skip this section. Also, people involved in the assessment may not have knowledge of all capacity areas. Review areas familiar to you and leave the rest for other members of your group. Alternatively, you can search the resources we provide here to learn more about unfamiliar areas before using the Tool.
The SCBC Benchmark Tool

To begin using the tool, please visit our member page to login and access your profile page and capacity benchmarking tool.

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