Alliance for Strong Families and Communities Unveils Assessment Tool for the Human-Serving Nonprofit Sector

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The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, a national organization advocating for the human-serving nonprofit sector, has released a robust Commitments Assessment Tool to complement its Commitments of High-Impact Nonprofit Organizations framework, launched last summer.

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The Commitments Assessment Tool was developed in collaboration with the American Institutes for Research to help human-serving nonprofits measure—and maximize—their community impact.

“Organizations in our sector are constantly striving to demonstrate impact for donors, funders, and those we serve, but often they’re not sure where to start,” said Susan Dreyfus, president and CEO of the Alliance. “The integration of the Assessment Tool and the Commitments framework provides a comprehensive pathway to high impact, while evaluating each organization’s current strengths and challenges. The organization can then address its documented priorities by tapping the Alliance’s extensive support resources. We think this unique pathway-evaluation-support continuum is a real breakthrough for our network and our sector.”

The Assessment Tool and the Commitments were created by the Alliance to advance the human-serving nonprofit sector.

Where the Assessment uncovers exemplary performance, the Alliance partners with organizations to spread breakthrough strategies across its 450-plus member network. As more and more organizations complete the Assessment, accumulated data will pinpoint the most powerful drivers of impact, resulting in an unprecedented set of empirically proven best practices for our sector.

“This is an opportunity to map a new path,” said Dreyfus. “The Assessment Tool gives organizations the data they need to achieve greater impact, and combined with the reach and resources of the Commitments framework, those lessons can be shared more swiftly across the entire sector.”

As the first step in engaging the Commitments framework, the Assessment provides a definitive snapshot of a nonprofit’s strengths and challenges. The Assessment’s report provides highly customized analysis, with more than 150 scientifically valid questions that rigorously analyze an organization’s maturity in each of the Commitment areas.

“It’s similar to the sum scores you might receive for a health risk assessment or a knowledge and concepts exam in the education sector,” said Laura Pinsoneault, director of evaluation and research services at the Alliance. “Our members will see key indicators, competency levels, and percentile rankings.”

The report also allows organizations to benchmark their performance against other human-serving nonprofits that have completed the Assessment.

The Assessment itself includes ten different scales—one representing each Commitment area as described in the Alliance’s framework. It is completed by all staff and takes about 35 minutes to complete via online survey. Normed on a sample of 511 individuals across 29 nonprofit human-serving organizations from across the country, the Assessment Tool is built around the voice of the customer and has a high degree of reliability and validity.

Alliance members will have three opportunities throughout the year to register for the Assessment. Non-members also may participate. For more information on the Assessment or membership, contact the Alliance at research(at)alliance1(dot)org.

THE ALLIANCE FOR STRONG FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES is a national organization dedicated to achieving a vision of a healthy society and strong communities for all children, adults, and families. The Alliance works for transformational change by representing and supporting its network of hundreds of nonprofit human serving organizations across North America as they translate knowledge into best practices that improve their communities. Working with and through its member network on leadership and advocacy, the Alliance strives to achieve high impact by reducing the number of people living in poverty; increasing the number of people with opportunities to live healthy lives; and increasing the number of people with access to educational and employment success. Go to for more information.

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