PowerCheck Frequently Asked Questions

Who should complete PowerCheck?

This is a self-assessment tool that can be filled out by any organization engaged in or wanting to engage in community organizing. Sometimes evaluators work with organizations to fill out the tool. It can also be used by funders to identify the organizing capacities of grantees or potential grantees. Within an organization, board, staff, and key volunteers can complete PowerCheck either together or individually. When only one or two people in a group complete PowerCheck, results can be shared throughout the organization. Should your organization submit multiple entries of the survey, only the most recent entry will be retained for the database, which allows for comparison among organizations.

What can PowerCheck be used for?

Nonprofit organizations can use PowerCheck to:

  • Identify areas of capacity to strengthen in order to accomplish the organization’s community organizing goals.
  • Help develop a plan for building community organizing capacity and mark progress in the evaluation process.
  • Help determine the organization’s role in organizing efforts and identify where to seek partners.
  • Provide groups with a baseline assessment to use in conversations with funders about strategic investments in your capacity.
  • Spark discussion about organizing capacity within the organization

Funders can use PowerCheck to:

  • Inform understanding of a grant proposal with organizing activities.
  • Determine the strengths and resources of current grantees and what complementary resources might be needed to accomplish the foundation’s goals.
  • Identify potential grantees’ organizing  capacities.
  • Incorporate goals of strengthening organizing capacity into guidelines for grantee planning and evaluation
  • Spark discussion about community organizing  within the foundation.
What is the relevance of the indicators and measures?

Specific indicators or measures will vary in their relevance to each organization. Some will be more or less important for a particular group’s community organizing work depending on:

  • The type of organizing work in which an organization is engaged.
  • The size of the organization (staff and budget).
  • Where the organization is in its life cycle.
  • Where an organization is in the development of its community organizing  work.

Organizing wins are affected by the external environment and sometimes by just plain luck. However, when groups build those capacities most critical to their community organizing  goals and objectives, they will be more likely to be effective and to sustain efforts.