The Centre recently launched its new and improved Self-Assessment Tool. The tool is specifically designed to serve smaller and medium-sized non-profit, co-operative, and Indigenous housing organizations that provide housing to thousands of Canadians. It will allow you to identify your organizational strengths and weaknesses in a systematic, simple and thorough way.
This tool identifies four different and inter-related themes crucial to assessing capacities, namely:
- Property management
- Financial management
- Social and community relations
The Self-Assessment Tool is designed so that once you have completed the process, we will provide you with feedback on the results of the assessment. You can use this as a tool for your board and management team as a base to see where you need to improve your capabilities. I.e., where training, new resources, or support would make sense for your group, services, building, staff, or your board to focus attention on and improve results.
That’s how to develop an action plan!
You can also use the results to respond to queries from funders, since many will want to know why you are asking for money for that specific activity or objective. Having a 360o view of your organization’s strengths and challenges is a good way to make your point.
Hint: if you consider applying for funding from the Centre, this is certainly something you should do before you start filling in any application forms.
This will give you a better idea of what training, new resources, or support should be requested in the first place. Indeed, all our groups are looking to improve their services, better maintain their buildings, train their employees, or to improve the expertise of their board. Remember, it is often helpful to focus your efforts on one or two aspects in a systematic way rather than trying to tackle all the issues at once in a superficial way.
The Centre is in the process of developing additional functionality to provide you with a customized action plan, specific to your organizational strengths, weaknesses, priorities, and context. This action plan will provide you with tailored resources, recommended next steps, and an appropriate timeline. You will also be able to track your activities and monitor outcomes.
The Centre will keep your answers in the database, where only you will be able to access or update them. That way, in a year or two, you will be in a better position to judge how your efforts have helped you evolve. Thanks to anonymized data collected from all the organizations in the field of community housing, the database will one day allow you to compare yourselves to others.
Other tools with similar goals but with different methodologies are available elsewhere, including at the Agency for Co-operative Housing or via sector organizations such as the BCNPHA and RQOH. We encourage you to look around so that you select the tool that best fits your needs.