Assessing Community Needs

In January 2014 a task force of OICF trustees and community members issued a final report in the area of needs assessment. Read the Needs Assessment Task Force Final Report (January 2014), including the background, charge and vision; definition of needs and indicators, and recommendations of this group.

In 2010 the Orcas Island Community Foundation embarked on a survey and data collection of current needs and local efforts to address those needs on Orcas Island.  Initially, OICF was interested in information gathering only.  A description of our goals and process are below.  Read the full report online:

Needs Assessment Goals

OICF’s goals in conducting the 2010–2011 needs assessment survey were:

  • Develop a better understanding of community needs currently being addressed Identify needs that are not currently being addressed
  • Develop a better understanding of what OICF can do to help nonprofits and other organizations address those needs
  • Through OICF’s competitive grants
  • Through OICF board discretionary grants
  • Through training for nonprofits
  • Through educating our donors about needs and philanthropic opportunities
  • Help identify ways in which existing nonprofits and possibly other organizations can work together more efficiently
  • Prioritize needs to best direct OICF’s, donors’ and community resources

Eight Sector Meetings

OICF examined eight sectors or areas of service (Arts & Culture, Early Childhood, Economy & Transportation, Education, Environment, Health, Housing, and Social Services) and convened a meeting of representatives from each sector.  The purpose of the sector meetings was to gather data from representatives of each sector.  Each sector meeting addressed the same four core questions:

  1. What’s working well on the island in terms of meeting your sector needs?
  2. What community needs related to your areas of service are not being fulfilled?
  3. What feedback do you receive on unmet needs from the people you serve?
  4. What are the primary causes of unmet needs in your sector for Orcas Island?

Reporting of the Needs Assessment

Following each sector meeting, notes gathered from discussion and round-table dialogues were transcribed, distributed to all of the attendees of the sector meeting, and posted below.  When all eight sectors convened, a final report will be distributed to all participants and to the broader Orcas community.

OICF believes it is imperative that we have fair and rigorous data gathering methods to explain how we reached our conclusions about needs and priorities on Orcas.  This is particularly true if OICF will use this data to advise donors and to direct our own funding.

Please contact us if you have questions.