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Use this assessment to help you to think about what tools you are using, how you are using them, and what you could do to make your usage more effective or efficient. This assessment may also provide you with insight into areas where you might be able to expand your use of digital tools, or thoughts on where you would like to focus your organization’s energy, in order to manage these tools more productively. Find a detailed guide on evaluating your organization’s use of digital tools here.


About your organization: General Organizational Info

  • Name of Organization:
  • General Contact Email:
  • General Contact Phone Number:
  • Street Address:
  • Town:
  • Mission Statement:
  • Website Address (URL):
  • Focus/type of organization: (Example: Historical Society, Food Shelf, Animal Welfare, Library, etc.)

How your organization communicates

Questions to consider:

  • WHO: Describe the person who typically interacts with your organization. (This process is known as persona creation. When you have a clear picture in your mind of 2-3 “types” of people who interact with you, it is easier to tailor your communications to match these people’s expectations. A useful article on persona creation can be found here: )
    • What age group does this person fall into?
    • How old is he/she?
    • What gender is he/she?
    • Where does he/she live? (Is this person in your close community, in the larger region of the state, throughout the state, across the country, etc.)
    • How often does he/she interact with your organization?
    • Why does he/she interact with your organization?
    • What is his/her socio-economic status?
  • WHAT: What do you do you do as an organization that needs communicating?
    • What are your goals as an organization? What do you do to communicate these goals?
    • What do you need help achieving?
    • What do you count as a “success” for your organization? What about for your communications (for example, is a response/donation/volunteer a success?)
  • WHY: Why do you communicate? Some reasons are listed below, but feel free to add your own reasons as well. How successful do you feel you are at each reason for communication? Where do you feel your focus should be?
    • Educate the public
    • Recruit volunteers
    • Raise funds
    • Identify individuals who need your services
    • Advertise events
    • Motivate people to take action
  • HOW: What tools do you use to communicate? How important is each of the following for you? Where do you focus most of your energy? Do any of these stand out as matching your organization particularly well? What have you not tried?
    • Meetings (online or in person)
    • Phone
    • Postal Mail
    • Posters
    • Flyers
    • Website
    • Email
    • Email Newsletters
    • Front Porch Forum
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Text Messages
    • Online Advertising
    • Mobile App

How your organization fundraises

Questions to consider:

  • What is your annual budget?
    • How do you maintain that budget?
    • How much does this budget fluctuate?
    • What costs are absolute necessities?
    • What do you have dedicated to technology? What about to following “new” ideas?
    • What could you do without, if you needed to?
  • Who are your donors?
    • Where do your donors come from? Do they come from your local community, or the larger region of the state, or further afield?
    • How “online savvy” are your donors? Are there other potential donors you could be tapping who are more technologically-minded?
    • Does the majority of your donations come from a few large donors or many smaller donors? Why?
    • What percentage of your budget do you raise from online sources? (for example, a “donate” button on your website, a crowdfunding site, email solicitations, etc.)
  • Consider the following fundraising tools. Which of these have you used? Which would make sense to try for your organization? Which have so far been the most successful?
    • Courting large donations from individuals
    • Annual (or semi-annual) appeal letter
    • Fundraising events
    • Fees for services
    • Government grants
    • Grants from private foundations
    • Kickstarter or another crowdfunding site
    • One Today by Google
    • Online Donations through your organization’s website
    • Raffles
    • Selling merchandise
    • Silent auction
    • Small donations from individuals
    • Text to donate
    • Phone solicitation
    • Donations via Facebook or Twitter
    • Other sources of funds
  • Which tools do you use to accept online donations? Consider those below. Which make sense for your organization? Why or why not?
    • Paypal
    • Network for Good
    • Just Give
    • Razoo Donation Widget
    • Eventbrite
    • Google Wallet
    • One Today by Google
    • Kickstarter
    • Convio
    • Amazon Simple Pay Donation
    • Other Online Donation
    • Accept donations via mobile phone – Square or Paypal Here

Your Organization’s Website

Questions to consider:

  • Do you have a website?
  • What role does your website play in your overall communication strategy?
    • How central is it to other aspects of your strategy?
    • How consistent is the look, feel and messaging across the website and other aspects of your communication strategy? (Do you use the same font/colors/tag-lines, etc?)
  • Can you add and edit content on your own, or do you contract this out?
    • If you do it internally, are you reliant on one person for this service, or can multiple people add/edit content?
    • Overall, is this process easy or difficult to learn?
    • Are you afraid of “breaking” the website every time you make a change?
  • How well structured is your site? How easy is it to use/navigate?
    • If somebody were to draw out a map or outline of your site, would they be able to easily place each page within a larger framework?
    • How easy it is it to get back to the home page of the website when you’re on an inner page?
    • Do the menus stay the same across the site?
  • Who in your organization is happy with the website? Who is not? Why, or why not?
  • How old is the design on your website? How does it compare to current web trends? In other words, when you compare the way your site looks to other sites across the internet, what sort of impression does it give?
  • Have you tested how your website looks across a large variety of web browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safar, etc.)?
  • How does your website look on a computer vs. on a mobile phone or tablet? (In other words, is your website responsive?)
  • Can visitors can share content from the website with the click of button (for instance, through a “Facebook share” button)?
  • Can visitors donate online via a credit card?
  • Do you pay for web hosting/server space? (As a nonprofit, you can get free server/hosting space through Dreamhost:
  • Does your website ends in .ORG? (.COM stands for “commercial,” and is therefore not ideal for a nonprofit.)
  • Do you use Google Analytics or another service to measure the effectiveness of your website?
    • If so, how many visitors do you get on your site?
    • What do your visitors look at on the site? What is most important to them? Is this content easy to find?
  • Does your organization have a least one email address that ends in
  • What content management system does your website use? Some examples are:
    • WordPress
    • Drupal
    • Joomla
    • Weebly
    • iPage
    • Wix
    • No content management system (hard-coded HTML)

Your Organization’s Email Strategy

Questions to consider:

  • Which online tools do you use for sending out email newsletters?
  • Do you have an email address that ends in
  • Do you pay a monthly or yearly fee for email?
  • How important is email to your organization's communication strategy?
  • Do you track how your emails fare? For example, what is the “open rate” of your emails? What is the response rate? How does this affect your next email?

Your Organization’s Social Media Strategy and Use

Questions to consider:

  • Who in your organization is responsible for populating your social media channels? What is their strategy? Is it written down?
  • Which social media does your organization use? Some highly used ones are below:
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Google Plus
    • Pinterest
    • Instagram
    • YouTube
    • Front Porch Forum
  • How frequently do you post for each channel?
  • What audience are you looking to address on each?
  • What types of content do you post?
  • Some considerations for Facebook:
    • Do you have a Facebook Page? (Do you understand the distinction between a Facebook page, a Facebook profile, and a Facebook group?)
    • Is the Web address of your Facebook page ?
    • Have you ever created a Facebook Event to advertise an event?
    • Do you use Facebook Insights to track the performance of your posts/page?
    • How many people "like" your organization's Facebook Page?
    • On average, how many people interact with your Page’s content (in likes and shares on a post)?
    • About how many times have you posted content on your Facebook Page in the last month?

Other online tools

There are a few free or reduced cost opportunities for nonprofits available. Does your organization take advantage of any of them?

Do you use online tools for scheduling and promoting events? Here are a few to consider:

Do you use online tools for collaboration or backing up data? Here are a few to consider:

Do you use online tools for photo/video storage and editing? Here are a few to consider:

Do you use online tools to recruit and manage volunteers? Here are a few to consider:

Have you purchase online ads? Here are a few to consider:

How your organization collaborates and backs up data

  • How many full time employees do you have?
  • How many part time employees do you have?
  • How many volunteers do you have?
  • Do you have an office or does each employee/volunteer work from home?
  • How do your employees and volunteers share in documents? For example:
    • Share paper copies of documents
    • Share documents by sending files back and forth via email
    • Share documents via Google Drive or Microsoft Word in the Cloud
    • Share documents via DropBox or another online cloud service
  • Do members of your organization share a calendar, like Google Calendar or Outlook?
  • How does your organization back up essential data?
    • External hard drive
    • Network back-up
    • Cloud back-up (online service, such as DropBox)
    • Copies in a filing cabinet