Organizational sustainability

The purpose of an adaptability assessment is to establish whether an organization

  • Can anticipate and respond to external threats and opportunities
  • Implement change in an effective and efficient way
  • Cope with a high impact event and recover quickly after it was impacted.


The assessment will identify those adaptability problems that have to be dealt with urgently and gather ideas about what should/could be done.


Elements of the assessment

An adaptability assessment will focus on a number of factors that signal that your NGO is adaptable.

It wants to determine whether the organization

  • Has processes in place that recognize threats and opportunities at an early stage
  • Conducts organizational assessments regularly
  • Analyzes the competitive environment on a regular basis
  • Keeps close contact with key stakeholders.
  • Cooperates and collaborates with other NGOs
  • Employs staff that is willing and able to adapt
  • Has leaders that provides leadership in strategic issues
  • Uses flexible processes, structures, policies and procedures

Additional aspects of adaptability that you could include in your assessment are discussed on the webpage: Make your NGO adaptable.


How to conduct the assessment

You can conduct your adaptability assessment based on an existing self-assessment tool if you do not want to design your own assessment.

One example is the capacity assessment tool published by the M.Casey Foundation which assesses 13 aspects of nonprofit organizations to be able to judge their adaptability.



Sources/ Guide to further reading (available online)

M.Casey. Organizational Capacity Assessment tool, at: