Service organizations are very often well-practiced in measuring outcomes about individual and/or family progress using an array of assessments that are program related. It is common to ask if a “client” or constituent is better off as a result of services or program participation. It is less likely that the organization measures the impact of constituent engagement in building the organization or in civic engagement activities. While the results of service provision are an important part of the organization’s story, expanding the view to include the impact of constituent engagement contributes to long-term change beyond the individual. The tools in this section are aimed at helping groups and individuals do just that. Learn more in the Constituent Engagement section of the Nonprofits Integrating Community Engagement (NICE) Guide.

Client Voice and Engagement

This agenda and activity worksheet is designed to identify opportunities for constituents to have more voice and leadership in your organzation and to generate a list of concrete practice shifts that can be proposed to others in the organzation.


Shields for Families

This case study tells the story of Shields for Families in Los Angeles that actively integrates social change and service provision by building on the leadership capacity of their clients and staff. Shields creates many opportunities for learning, enagement, and social change efforts that are exemplary. Use this case study to learn from Shields and discuss what would work locally and how to move forward.


From Input to Ownership: How Nonprofits Can Engage with the People They Serve To Carry Out Their Missions

This article is about asking, listening, and more. It looks at how some leading nonprofits are engaging clients, beneficiaries, or residents—their constituents— in order to deliver services more effectively and have more impact on the social concerns they are trying to address.


Creating Effective Feedback Loops

This essay provides a set of principles that practitioners can use to design feedback loops with a higher probability of success. It suggests that effective efforts benefit from getting constant feedback about what works and makes the case that constituent (or consumer) voice is critical to design systems that are effective and responsive.


Measuring the Impact of Civic Engagement

This report provides an overview of a process to develop tools to measure the impact of civic engagement practices in human services. The Civic Engagement Measurements System (CEMS) is an inter-related set of tools that are believed to represent a promising new approach to the measurement of outcomes and impacts of civic engagement.


My Healthy Organization Assessment

This guide explains how to use the My Healthy Organization Tool (MHO Assessment Tool). The guide describes:
1. Why and when to do an assessment.
2. How to implement the process and use the assessment tool, including risks
and challenges
3. How to use the process and results to improve your organization
Nine areas are identified as important building blocks of movement capacity of nonprofit organizations: Vision, Principles, Learning and Reflecting, Issues of Race and Power, Work Across Boundaries, Work Across Generations, Constituent Involvement, Structure, and Funding.


Civic Participation as a Component of Service Provision

This is section 2 of the “Integrating Civic Participation Strategies into Service Delivery Organizations” Toolkit, which was created by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) in order to create a “participation continuum” that links constituencies to a variety of civic opportunities such as citizenship promotion and engaging in issues. This section focuses on expanding the traditional role of service providers to affect decision-making authority, changing the systems that create the need for services.


Beyond Marketing: Becoming a Constituent Centered Organization

This article provides concrete examples and ideas about engaging constituents in all facets of an organization.


Community-Engagement Governance

This article presents models for governance by stakeholders in contrast to traditional board model. In the Community-Engagement Governance™ framework, responsibility for governance is shared across the organization, including the organization’s key stakeholders: its constituents and community, staff, and the board. Community-Engagement Governance™ is based on established principles of participatory democracy, self-determination, genuine partnership, and community-level decision making. It can be explored as a way to ensure that engagement is integrated into daily practice.


Overarching Questions

These questions are adapted from Cultural Competency: Organizations and Diverse Populations: The Handbook of Community Practice, Patricia St. Onge, 2013. It can be part of the process to assess organizational cultural competency. Questions are based on the belief that working towards organizational cultural competence is an on-going process that requires constant vigilance because the negative consequences of racism, sexism and oppression need on-going understanding and confrontation.