For nonprofit organizations, being able to generate steady income and improve program offerings and outcomes is critical to success and ultimately, long-term sustainability. No matter what the overall economic conditions might be, the level of competition amongst nonprofits to find and obtain charitable gifts, or changes occurring within the organization, diligent fundraising efforts have to be undertaken by the board, staff, and volunteers of the nonprofit organization.

Given the pressure to raise money, there is a tendency for many organizations to begin fundraising activities prematurely. Basic organizational structures, understandings, processes, interpersonal dynamics, management styles, and key documents need to be in place first. Third Sector Enterprises, Inc. (Third Sector) has developed a tool that helps nonprofits evaluate and then set up/maintain a solid organizational foundation upon which success and long-term sustainability can be achieved.

This tool involves Third Sector (an independent third-party) conducting an organizational assessment that compares your nonprofit’s current level of competencies to that of proven best practice capacities. Capacity is defined as possessing either knowledge or resources that give you the ability to perform certain activities at a high level. Competency is the actual demonstration or performance of such knowledge and resources.

 Depending upon your budget size and breadth of assessment desired, internal, and external audiences (identified by you) are asked to respond to a series of survey questions. The request for completing the survey is made electronically but depending upon the breadth of the assessment, requests for personal interviews can be conducted as well. The results are then analyzed, and specific written recommendations are made to your nonprofit about how to maintain/obtain those capacities and build further competencies.

Four Capacity Building Areas of Focus:

Adaptive: The ability to monitor, assess, respond to, and stimulate internal and external changes, including:

  • An easily understood and compelling vision, mission, and values statements
  • A written strategic plan that is referenced and updated on a regular basis
  • Staff and volunteers who actively embrace their roles as “change agents”

Leadership: The ability of all organizational leaders (senior executives and board members) to work well together, inspire, prioritize, make informed decisions, provide direction, and innovate in a concerted effort to achieve the organizational mission, including:

  • Board members who understand and embrace their roles and responsibilities
  • An executive director who is an experienced manager and a respected leader
  • A healthy team spirit among Board members and a sense of partnership with staff and volunteers

Management: The ability to ensure the effective and efficient deployment of organizational resources, both human and financial, including:

  • A written resource development plan
  • A written communication and promotions plan
  • Written volunteer and personnel manuals, including specific job descriptions.

Technical: The ability to actually perform key operational functions and deliver programs and services, including:

  • A system of sound financial practices and management tools (including a relationship database)
  • Professional development training available for board, volunteers, and staff in key areas of program and services
  • An understanding of what clients consider value and a method for recording and using such feedback for future planning

Organizational Assessment Criteria

  • Annual Budget of up to $749,999
  • Internal audience only and limited to a total of 20 invitees from four categories: CEO, Board, Staff, Volunteers
  • Review of up to 8 key financial, governance, fundraising and program documents
  • Report sharing results and customized recommendations

Investment and Time Commitment:

$5,000 (you pay $2,500, the Foundation matches it at $2,500) This is a hybrid service of in person and virtual meetings. (Time commitment varies. If your organization has a larger budget, please contact us about other tiered assessment options.)

Consulting Services Provided By: 

Art Bavoso
Art Bavoso

Founder, Owner, and President, Third Sector Enterprises, Inc.

Art Bavoso’s professional experience in nonprofits field spans many decades and includes senior level positions at Partners Mentoring Youth, Larico Youth Homes, United Way, Colorado State University, and the Health District of Northern Colorado. He is specialist in organizational assessments, board development, strategic planning, group facilitation and all aspects of fund raising (including donor qualification surveys, capital campaigns and planned giving). He has been a member of the Fort Collins Foothills Rotary Club for 44 years, having been awarded Rotarian of the Year for 2013-1014. Art was also the recipient of the Administrator of the Year Award from the Colorado Juvenile Council and the Service to Mankind Award from the Overland Sertoma Club. For more about Art, go to

Chris Imsland
Chris Imsland

Principal Owner, Imsland Consulting LLC

Chris Imsland is the principal owner of Imsland Consulting LLC; and an independent consultant providing nonprofit organizations with fundraising strategy, grant writing, Board and leadership development, and organizational assessment services. He has twenty years of nonprofit management, fundraising, special event planning and marketing experience. Chris has spent the last 15 years in the nonprofit arena working both as an 3xecutive director and fundraising professional. His experience in both nonprofit and corporate industries offer a broad perspective in fundraising and sales, team development, strategic planning, and organizational management. To learn more about Chris go to

Roxanne Fry, MBA
Roxanne Fry, MBA

Founder and CEO, RoxStar Solutions LLC
Roxanne Fry is the Founder and CEO of RoxStar Solutions LLC. She has 25 years of nonprofit management experience, including 14 years as Chief Operating Officer at the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado.

As a technology-focused operations and process improvement solutionist, a champion of efficient workflows, a Certified Salesforce Administrator, and an instigator of lightbulb moments, Roxanne helps nonprofit team members across the U.S. streamline their daily work so they can spend more of their valuable time doing what they do best: Serving their clients and stewarding their donors!

Roxanne is a Certified Salesforce Administrator with a BS in Legal Studies from Winona State University (MN) and an MBA from CSU. View Roxanne’s LinkedIn profile. She developed her strong worth ethic growing up on a small family dairy farm in Northern Wisconsin and has lived in Windsor for 25 years.

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