Self-Assessment Workbook for HFCs


The Self-Assessment Workbook (SAW) is a tool to help build the capacity of the HFC Network.

The goal of the SAW is to assist a HFC coalition in determining for itself the critical elements for effective organizational management and network functioning and to identify those areas in need of strengthening or further development. The SAW is designed to enable organizational learning, foster team sharing, and encourage reflective self-assessment within an anti-hunger coalition. It can be used for strategic planning, evaluation and building group cohesion.

Not intended to be a scientific method, the value of the SAW is in its collaborative, self-guided process. It offers organizations and coalitions a chance to reflect on their current status compared to recognized standards and best practices.

A secondary goal of the SAW is to help the Alliance to End Hunger determine technical assistance and training needs across the HFC Network.

View a webinar providing an overview of the SAW tool HERE

Open the SAW tool in its entirety, or view the capacity assessment sections one-by-one:
Self-Assessment Workbook for the Hunger Free Communities Network™ Word PDF
Select capacity assessment sections

The objective of this section is to assess the clarity of the organization’s motivation, purpose, and stability by reviewing its guiding principles, structure, and oversight mechanisms.   Word PDF

Sub-Sections: Vision, Mission and Values, Legal Status, Governing or Advisory Board, Leadership and Succession Plan

Resources: Vision, Mission and/or values statements, By-laws or articles of incorporation, Terms of reference for board members, Board meeting minutes, Succession plan, Certificate of legal registration

The objective of this section is to assess the organization’s capacity to develop and use key policies, procedures and systems to manage its general operations and functions. Word PDF

Sub-Sections: Organizational Structure, Operational Policies, Procedures, and Systems, Filing and Information Systems

Resources: Policy and procedures manuals, Samples of administrative forms

The objective of this section is to assess the organization’s ability to maintain a satisfied and skilled staff/volunteer workforce, and to manage operations and staff time in order to implement quality programs.  Word PDF

Sub-Sections: Staffing (levels, hiring, retention), Job Descriptions and Staff Supervision, Personnel Policies, Compensation (stipends, salaries, and benefits), Volunteers and Interns

Resources: Staffing plan, Recruitment policy and guidelines, Personnel manual, Job descriptions, Volunteer/intern policy,  Compensation policy, Vacancy and turnover data, Retention policies, Performance appraisals

The objective of this section is to assess the quality of the organization’s financial systems, policies and procedures and the staff’s knowledge of the system. Word PDF

Sub-Sections: Financial Policies and Procedures, Internal Controls, Financial Documentation and Reporting, Financial Planning and Sustainability

Resources: Financial manual, Accounting journals, Chart of accounts, Payment vouchers, Staff training plan, Signatory policy/authority matrix, Budget, Budget tracking sheet, Financial reports, Strategic plan

The objective of this section is to assess the organization’s planning, management of external relations, means of identifying and capitalizing on new resources, and decision-making policies. Word PDF

Sub-Sections: Strategic and Operational Planning, Resource Mobilization, Engagement with Donors, Communication Strategy: Documentation and Reporting, Internal Communication Decision-Making, Stakeholder Involvement, Knowledge Management

Resources: Strategic plan, Operational plan, Stakeholder list and analysis, Resource mobilization plan