OrgWise Organizational Standards

OrgWise-Organizational Standards

Standards that are mainly concerned with governance and management, as well as broad approaches to service delivery and community building.

Self-Assessment Tool is an integrated and coordinated approach aimed at facilitating organizational capacityA multi‐faceted concept referring broadly to an organization’s power, strength, and ability to grow, develop, and accomplish its goals. Elements of capacity can include knowledge, people and resources. and infrastructure development in four main areas of the OrgWise voluntary Standards (A Community

The broad group of people who are stakeholders of an organization. Extending beyond the people that enter our buildings and use our services, an organization’s community may include cultural groups, sectoral partners, and other groups of people joined together by common identity, geography, and other bonds. Often where we use ‘community’ the word is actually short for multiple communities.

Based Approach, GovernanceRefers to the source of strategic thinking and decisions that shape and direct an organization and its work and where, ultimately, accountability lies. Includes anything related to non‐profit boards as well as strategic leadership issues. and Strategic Leadership

When referring to an ‘organization’s leadership’, we mean the board, ED and senior management.

, Operations, and Human Resources). Developed with the unique needs of the immigrant and refugee-serving sector

Used broadly to define a group or cluster of agencies that share some commonality. Here ‘the sector’ refers to community based agencies that serve immigrants and refugees in Ontario. Other relevant sectors include the broader non‐profit sector (sometimes referred to as the voluntary sector), and the community social services sector.

in mind, this tool aims to strengthen capacity and increased accountability at the Organization and sector levels. The OrgWise Standards and Indicators

Evidence or measures that show that a certain condition exists or certain results have or have not been achieved. They tell you how much progress has been made toward the intended goals, objectives, outputs or outcomes. Here, indicators are the practical and measurable markers that monitor specific aspects of a standard. Meeting certain indicators means the achievement of some level of the standard.

also serve as:

  • A means to effectively measure and gauge the health of organizations and an important risk management

    Risk management involves examining a situation and 1) identifying what can go wrong, 2) identifying measures to avoid such problems, and 3) if something does go wrong, identifying steps that can be taken to lessen the negative impact. These measures may include the use of policies, procedures, and protections (such as insurance or education). Risks can be related, for example, to financial loss, workplace safety issues including abuse & physical harm or injury, property damage, or loss of reputation.

  • A tool to identify organization strengths, celebrate successes, champion activities and address organizational development

    A process through which an organization increases its capacity to successfully pursue its mission. This can include collaboration to create organizational change, to enhance organizational health, and to improve staff satisfaction and effectiveness.

  • An important benchmark for governing organizational management, accountability and development principles

    Accepted bases of action or conduct. For the Organizational Standards Initiative, our guiding principles provide a value‐laden foundation on which our work can be based.

  • An effective operational tool to integrate in organizational development and strategic planning

    An activity carried out on a regular basis to clarify an organization’s purpose, goals, priorities, and a plan for reaching those goals and addressing the priorities.

    e.g., upcoming funding proposals and reporting mechanisms
  • A resource to communicate organizational strengths and achievements with communities and stakeholders
  • A capacity development

    ‘Capacity’ is a general term we use to refer to the various abilities, skills, knowledge, attitudes, values, structures, relationships, behaviours, resources and conditions needed to carry out functions and achieve objectives. Here ‘capacity development’ refers to a deliberate, coordinated process to grow, strengthen, create, adapt, or maintain the capacity of an organization or community over time. See also Organizational Capacity, Organizational Development.

    , knowledge and resource hub for organizations and their personnel
  • A bridging tool for agencies to connect and share strategies with their peers and leading organizational development experts to builds capacity

Completing your organization self-assessment helps to inform your organization capacity building priorities, training needs and organizational development efforts. 


a.   A Community Based Approach

This category focuses on three main areas:
  • Strengthen communities
  • Improving Conditions for Immigrants and Refugees
  • Communication and collaboration

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b.   Governance & Strategic Leadership

This category focuses on three areas
  • Strategic leadership,
  • Board roles and responsibilities
  • Board Structure and Operations

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c.   Operations

This category focuses on four:
  • Operational and internal systems
  • Learning & Innovation
  • Financial Management
  • Physical and technological infrastructure

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d.   Human Resources

This category focuses on three areas
  • Promoting a positive and equitable work environment
  • Hiring, Deployment, Engagement & Retention
  • Managing Volunteers and Students

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