This exercise can determine which programs you want to evaluate. 


This exercise will help you identify your organization’s key program areas and help you to decide which ones you may want to evaluate.


Make a copy of this handout for each board member. Take 10 minutes at your next board meeting and ask each board member to complete it. Use a flip chart to document and prioritize top programs you want to evaluate.

Post your mission statement and have a copy of your strategic plan available for review. Take 10 minutes at your next board meeting and, on a flip chart, document the board members’ answers to the following questions:

Step 1: Identifying on-going key programs that deliver the mission of your organization

Do you have programs that you have clearly identified as necessary to deliver your mission?

Step 2: Identifying on-going programs that produce important income
What programs really help you bring in income and help pay for operations?

Step 3: What NEW programs are in the works that you would like to evaluate for fit with
your mission and potential for success?

New programs

Step 4: Choose ONE of the programs mentioned above you would like to evaluate
Choose one program from the first three steps to evaluate using each of the following 10 minute board exercises in this book. You may want to choose a program that does not make you any money, but really does deliver your nonprofit mission. Or you may want to choose what you think is one of your most popular programs, and develop a benchmark so you can evaluate and document its success.

Program Name: ___________________________________________________________

What do we want to know about this program? Check all that you want to discover:

  • Cost effective?
  • Serves the mission?
  • Stakeholder support?
  • Staffing needs to support the program?
  • Do program participants and clients receive the outcomes we expect?
  • Other factors (specify below)?


At the next board meeting, confirm the top programs you want to evaluate for success and do the next 10 minute Board Exercise to identify the stakeholders.

You can download this exercise FREE as a PDF to distribute to your board. The exercise is from our workbook, Successful Program Evaluations. It was developed in collaboration with JoAnne C. Bunnage.