United Way of America
they have little knowledge about how the UW functions. Instead, select a few partners who have worked closely with your United Way and will be able to provide feedback on your organization. Volunteers and Community Partners can include someone from a partnering coalition or foundation. Also consider involving long-time volunteers (or former staff) that have previously worked at your United Way.
Staff We do recommend that you invite staff from a variety of levels and functions/programs. Your report will compare staff ratings versus non-staff ratings.
**Remember you are not required to specifically include community partners. It is important, that there is a balance of non-staff and staff participants in the assessment. When deciding who and how many people to invite, please be sure you have balanced numbers.
7. Is there a limit on participants? No, we have seen a range of 10 – 94 participants engage in the SOE Self-Assessment. It is a good idea for you to invite more than the minimum, to ensure you reach the participation requirement. However, the more participants you have, the more accurate and useful will be the results. Taking the assessment motivates people to later be active and interested in analyzing the results. Some United Ways have used this tool to help teach their board members about the new work of the UW. The tool itself has been a great learning experience to get the board speaking the same language and understanding the system concepts. As a general guide, invite those that have a good understanding of how your United Way functions. Although not everyone will have sufficient knowledge to be able to thoroughly assess all areas, their perceptions are still valuable. In the event that a participant does not feel comfortable rating an area, a “don’t know” option is available.
8. Any special advice for working with large groups of participants (over 30)? Recruitment: We recommend that you first send out a letter to your large group of desired participants, requesting their participation in the assessment. (Click Sample Letter, to view UW of Greater Cincinnati’s recruitment letter). Upon receiving confirmation, arrange for an orientation session as well as send out the SOE and assessment booklets to them. This will allow you to save money and time by only sending necessary communication to those who commit to participating.
Indicate the role they will designate in the assessment: The participants will be asked to designate their role (board, staff, volunteer, or community partner) on the first few pages of the Self-Assessment. Consider telling them how you would like them to self designate. Technically, a board member can also be considered a volunteer. You will save yourself time, and assure optimum results, by telling participants upfront how to self designate on the first pages of the Self-Assessment.
Follow up after completion: consider asking your participants to send you an email once they have completed the assessment. This will help you keep track of your progress. Additionally, in the middle of your assessment week, check this webpage: http://online.unitedway.org/site/soe/selfeval.cfm to view an update on your participation numbers, broken out by role (staff, board members, volunteers, community partners). This will tell you whether or not you need to make a final push to the finish line.