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Business Planning Assessment Opportunity for Executive Leaders

**Please note that the Business Planning Assessment Cohorts are now full. However, you are still welcome to complete the application if you are interested in joining the waitlist for this program.**

We are launching a second round of our fellowship program for executive leaders looking to undertake business planning for organizational growth and/or increased sustainability in 2016. Stay tuned for the full application to receive an Organizational Assessment valued at over $5,000, which will then qualify you for additional training and one-on-one coaching opportunities later in 2016 and beyond.



Through this Organizational Assessment, expert consultants will look at your organization’s (1) overall health, (2) readiness to take on business planning and (3) initial ideas of how to increase your organization’s impact and sustainability. They will review critical organizational documents and conduct interviews with stakeholders to understand your work and position within your community. The end result will be a summary memo, which could be used as a launching point for a new business venture, program, or re-assessment of internal business processes. The assessment process takes 6 to 8 weeks, and requires at least 10 hours of staff time. It also requires participation from 8-10 internal and external stakeholders in one-on-one interviews.  The assessment is valued at over $5,000, and by applying for this program you can receive it at no cost to your organization.



Our spring cohorts are now full, but please read about the eligibility requirements here; or click here to complete the application online to join our waitlist.  Contact Jenee Gaynor at or 503.493.1000 x10 with any questions.



Sometimes, a fresh and outside perspective on your organization can help you to see opportunities and challenges, strength and weaknesses that you might be missing because you are so close to your work. The Organizational Assessment will provide insights into your organization’s operations and challenge you to consider your next steps in terms of impact and sustainability. It will assess your readiness and capacity to engage in sustainable business practices and your ability to react quickly when opportunity arises.  The consultants will highlight your core capacities – prior experience, organizational culture, risk-taking orientation, financial literacy, financial position, and market awareness. With this information, they will make recommendations to fill gaps, and suggest opportunities and even a few radical ideas.  Completing an Organizational Assessment is one of the first steps in improving your organization’s long-term sustainability, which directly impacts your capacity to serve your community.

“The organizational assessment conducted by Solid Ground as part of the Business Planning Fellowship was truly beneficial. The review included the valuable perspectives of community stakeholders and funding partners, as well as key board and staff members. The high-level analysis included an insightful risk assessment and identified potential opportunities. We were able to draw from the organizational assessment to inform strategic planning well beyond the business planning fellowship.” 

– Emily Siebel, Executive Director of Yellow Springs Home, Inc. and previous Business Planning Fellowship Participant

Previous participants indicated that going through this process provided a new perspective and helped their organizations to articulate their plans and put them on paper. They pursued various ideas – from expanding your geographic service boundaries or expanding into rental programs to launching a green landscaping social venture or even shifting towards a long-term affordable homeownership program model. The Organizational Assessment offers a helpful third-party lens on your organization’s operations, and may provide a reality check, an opportunity for reflection, the revelation of a new opportunity, or all of the above!



After you receive an Organizational Assessment, you can do whatever is best for your organization!  You’re likely to receive a few recommendations for areas to strengthen your business practices or some suggestions for potential programs to pursue or expand. The Network will sponsor a Business Planning Training at the 2016 Intersections conference in September, which will provide additional guidance, tools and techniques for taking action based on the Organizational Assessment you receive through this program. After completing the both the assessment and training, you will have the opportunity to apply for a Coaching Scholarship, where experts will support and guide your organization in creating a business plan, marketing and outreach initiative, or taking another key step towards launching or solidifying a program to support long-term sustainability.

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