Assessing Community Needs and Program Effectiveness

You can’t make good decisions with bad information. Especially during times of severe budget constraints, organizations must have a clear understanding of their programs’ effectiveness and the nature, scale and trends of the needs of the communities they serve in order to properly answer the question, “We might be doing things right, but are we doing the right things?”

Fairmount has a deep bench of data collection and analytical tools, but our strength lies in our ability to translate information into practical, actionable programs in the real world and in real time. Our program assessment services combine data analysis with our extensive knowledge of program design, funder interests, public policy and trends to move clients from ‘the problem statement’ to resources to craft effective programs and services.

For Fairmount clients, the end goal of community needs assessment is not an academic, quantitative study of a population’s problems. It is a strategic, programmatic, and organizational direction that lives at the nexus of mission, core competencies, policy and practice trends and the availability of resources. So Fairmount doesn’t stop at measuring need; we help organizations, provider networks and public agencies determine how to respond to a community’s real issues with data-driven strategy and programs that are informed by our deep understanding of public policy, philanthropy, and national best practices.

Fairmount’s assessment services include:

  • Community needs assessment
  • Systems assessment
  • Environmental and best practices analysis
  • Survey design & analysis
  • Focus group design & facilitation

Case Studies: program design and assessment services for Graduate!Philadelphia and Penn State Extension