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Engine Check

We look under your organisation's bonnet to discover what needs to be fine tuned and revved up to deliver even more impact

Organisational effectiveness is critical to a NFP's ability to implement strategy and create impact. We have found that effective organisations exhibit strengths in five  essential areas and have developed a Diagnostic Tool to identify an organisation's strengths and weaknesses in the these key areas. 



A NFP’s mission, vision, and over-arching goals, collectively express its common sense of purpose and direction. To fulfil these goals, a clear strategy articulating a coherent set of actions and programs is required along with leadership skills drive such things (among others) as performance measurement, planning, resource management, and external relationship building


Systems are the processes, both formal and informal, by which the organisation functions – in short, how things work. A NFP's systems can be complex, even mystifying, especially in relation to managing decisions, knowledge, and people. Systems are also one of the more obvious levers of effectiveness, with NFP's already accustomed to seeking “technical assistance” from specialized external third parties. Infrastructure, meanwhile, describes the assets that support the organisation. Although infrastructure is often taken for granted – the NFP ethic of “make do with what you have” is at work here – in fact there are strong possibilities for an organisation to add value in this area, just as with systems.


People – professional staff, volunteers, board members – are the lifeblood of all NFPs. An organisation’s human resources represent the collective capabilities and experiences of its people, and yet many NFPs are not only reticent to manage talent actively (especially compared to the private sector) but they also tend to undervalue their people. Yet, when NFPs succeed in attracting talented people and unleashing their full potential, high level effectiveness happens.


The combination of governance, organisational design, interfunctional coordination, and individual job descriptions that shapes the organization’s legal and management structure. Another effectiveness lever those in the NFP sector would be most familiar with. Not another reorganisation we hear you say! Truth is a NFP can keep changing its organisation chart every 3 months if it wants, but it will never achieve institutional alignment unless its organisational design supports not only systems and human resources, but also its purpose, strategies, and skills. As with other components of organizational effectiveness, changes in an organisation’s structure are most effective when they are integrated with a comprehensive package of capacity building initiative


Culture is an invisible motor that either drives an organisation towards, or away from, greater impact. When assessing culture as an effectiveness driver, we distinguish between two aspects of an organisation’s culture: its core values, beliefs, and behaviour norms, on the one hand, and its performance orientation, or “performance culture” on the other. 

Financial Report


The aim of the Health Check is to identify an organisation's strength and weaknesses to enable the Leadership Group to maximise impact by developing action plans to maximise strengths and strengthen weaknesses.


Broadly our effectiveness health check involves the following process:

1. Data collection - Selected staff interviewed and complete a survey designed to identify strengths and areas for growth.

2. Data analysis - Evaluate survey results to diagnose the nonprofit's core organizational strengths and areas for growth

3. Option development - Formulate options the organization might pursue to make critical changes to address weaknesses or build on strengths

4. Plan execution -  Evaluate the options, taking into account ease of implementation and degree of improvement. Select the most important changes to make and put into action

At the conclusion of the process the organisation will be clear about where is it heading and what needs to occur to achieve even greater impact for the Cause it serves.

If you think your organisation is due for an effectiveness health check, contact us here

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