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Defining Organizational Structure and Operating Mechanisms


Primary Community Tool Box Supports for this Process:

1. Assess organizational needs and resources and develop goals to enhance the functioning of the organization.

  • The group regularly assesses organizational strengths and weaknesses.
  • The group regularly assesses organizational resources and community assets.
  • The group regularly identifies organizational needs or barriers.

Core Supports:

2. Develop an organizational structure.

  • Establish a clear governing structure appropriate for the goals of the organization and its stage of development.
  • Establish a clearly defined structure or method for operating to support the functions and activities of the organization or group.
  • There are formal roles and responsibilities established for all levels of the organizational structure.
  • The group regularly reviews the structure of the organization to identify potential needs.

Core Supports:

3. Establish operating mechanisms for doing things within the organization.

  • The organization has bylaws.
  • The organization has a document that summarizes the responsibilities and procedures of the organization including protocols and rules for decision making, information sharing, conflict resolution, and financial policies.
  • The group uses and regularly reviews the operational procedures and makes any necessary changes.
  • The group holds regular and consistent meetings at all appropriate levels.
  • There is a clear method and protocol for communication in the organization across multiple levels.
  • The organization appropriately documents and records organizational activities.
  • The group has adequate access to technology including communication technology needed computer equipment and software.
  • The group has an appropriate working environment and sufficient resources necessary to support the operations of the group.

Core Supports:

4. Determine how volunteers will be recruited and used in the organization.

  • Decide whether volunteers are appropriate to be used in the organization at the current stage of development.
  • The organization has a process or plan for identifying and recruiting volunteers.
  • The organization or group recruits volunteers with diverse skills, professional expertise, background, and experience.
  • The organization provides orientation, training, and supervision for all volunteers.
  • All volunteer positions have written roles and responsibilities that are clearly stated.
  • Volunteers are screened as appropriate for their roles and responsibilities in the organization.
  • There is a process for ensuring that volunteers are matched with appropriate volunteer opportunities that maximize the interest, skills, knowledge, expertise, and experience of the volunteers.
  • The organization has identified and protected volunteers from any liabilities.

Core Supports:

5. Determine how the organization will recruit, hire, and use paid employees.

  • The organization has identified which roles and responsibilities are better served by staff, consultants, and/or volunteers.
  • The organization has written job descriptions and responsibilities for all paid positions.
  • The organization has a fair process and written protocol for recruiting and hiring staff and consultants.
  • The organization regularly identifies the training and technical support needs of staff and develops ongoing plans to assure necessary training or technical support for staff members.
  • The organization has an appropriate division of labor in which tasks are appropriately delegated to staff and other paid positions.
  • All staff are adequately supervised and supported and have some form of accountability for work performance.
  • The organization formally recognizes and rewards the performance and contributions of volunteers.

Core Supports:

6. Evaluate and recognize the performance of staff and volunteers.

  • The organization formally recognizes and rewards the performance and accomplishments of staff on a regular basis.
  • Volunteers and staff are given formal opportunities to regularly assess/provide feedback to management regarding the group.
  • There is a clear evaluation process used by the group to assess performance of staff and volunteers (including board members.
  • Establish clear benchmarks and a written statement for all staff and volunteers (including board members) regarding how individual performance will be measured and assessed

Core Supports:

7. Monitor financial resources of the organization.

  • The organization has clearly identified and written roles and responsibilities for the governing structure and staff for monitoring the financial resources of the organization.
  • The organization has an operational budget that indicates all income and expenses from all revenue sources.
  • Written policies and procedures are established and followed to assure appropriate financial procedures and fiscal controls.
  • The organization or group has identified an appropriate level for cash operating reserves.
  • The governing structure of the organization understands the financial position of the organization and regularly reviews financial statements and reports.
  • Conduct regular audit and review of financial records by a finance professional with no vested interest in the organization.
  • The governing body monitor requires financial reports and assures reporting requirements of appropriate federal and state agencies and funding agencies are appropriately filed and submitted.
  • The organization has and uses a plan for securing financial resources for the organization.

Core Supports: