PowerCheck: Community Organizing Capacity Tool

Publication date: 
May, 2014
Bolder Advocacy an initiative of Alliance for Justice

"PowerCheck: Community Organizing Capacity Tool" is a free online tool that makes it easy for nonprofits, evaluators, and funders to assess capacity to engage in community organizing, plan successfully, and track progress over time. In one hour or less, an organization can answer questions online about skills, expertise, gaps, and the resources available to successfully engage in community organizing work. PowerCheck generates immediate results, letting organizations and coalitions know where and how to focus resources and what types of partnerships to seek out to help build a plan to move forward.

Foundations: Supporting community organizing is key to developing movements where change is needed at local, national, and all levels. PowerCheck can help you understand the skills and readiness of your grantee, identify gaps and opportunities in your funding portfolio, focus resources where most needed, and assess grantee programs in their organizations.

Nonprofits: With the free PowerCheck tool, you can easily be more effective by identifying your group or coalition’s many skills, specific gaps, and strategic opportunities, and you can then focus the organization’s resources where needed.

Evaluators: PowerCheck can help you assess a baseline of groups’ organizing readiness skills, resources and other capacities, plan how to strengthen the organization, and mark progress in doing so.

This tool consists of:

  • Preliminary questions about the organization (this includes informal groups and coalitions).
  • Core capacities or indicators: The indicators and related measures have been selected based on experience gathered by organizers, advocates, evaluators, funders, and other nonprofit leaders. Together, they represent the core areas of capacity for any organization or groups of organizations that aim to be effective community organizers over time. They are organized into five sections:
    • Pre-Organizing: Goals, Power Analysis and Planning
    • Empowerment/Constituent Leadership
    • Organizing for Change
    • Community Consensus Building (Optional)
    • Organizational Operations/Infrastructure
  • Measures: Each of the 24 indicators has four-six basic measures and one to four optional advanced measures. Users rate themselves according to the measures.

You can access a PDF of the tool or you can use the link below to use the tool online.