Organizational Assessment for a Nonprofit Civic Organization

Business Case

The chairperson of the commission for a jointly sponsored recreation center wanted to reduce tension and strain that had developed among certain individuals within the commission.

The commission was created as a separate entity by a local school district and city aldermanic group, and it consisted of representatives from each of these parental bodies plus members at large from the community. When the new recreation center was being built, the commission members worked well together. When the focus of the commission shifted from construction to operations, tension increased between the representatives of the sponsoring entities, creating a very risky situation for the commission as a whole.

The commission chairperson wanted to reduce the strain that had developed so the organization could better execute its mission. In addition, all members needed to put the commission’s best interest first, rather than focusing on their school district or city interests, while doing work in the commission’s name.

CMA provided the commission with the services to reduce the conflict, while redirecting the focus of the commission members by conducting an organizational assessment and making recommendations for change.


Based on CMA’s report and work with the commission, the head of the local school district and city, who were both on the commission, jointly endorsed a method to manage resources provided by each sponsoring entity to the recreation facility. The commission continued to make progress in meeting its goals and is expanding and changing the recreation facility to better serve its constituency. Because of the success of the new working relationship, the commission has recently considered expanding its mission. 

This approach to a collaborative effort between a school district and a local municipality developed under CMA’s guidance is recognized nationwide as a unique model for promoting intergovernmental collaboration.