Assess your community

Assess Your Community

The primary focus of the assessment stage is the testing and validating of assumptions, typically identified when creating a shared vision. Trying to understand available data and determining what is viable or practical for your community are key activities.

To respond to community needs, you must first have a clear understanding of what those needs are, what assets or capacity the community already has for addressing those needs, and what new options or solutions are possible. A community needs assessment provides comprehensive information about the community, helps identify community priorities, and should result in informed decisions based on data and the input of key stakeholders.

Tip: Don’t be discouraged if you discover that your original vision needs to be adjusted based on what your community needs assessment discovers.

Using data to assess and understand your community

Most often community groups use data to support evidence-based decision making, planning, priority setting, performance tracking, and accountability.

Use data to:

  • clarify community needs and concerns
  • identify trends
  • select appropriate indicators of success
  • communicate evidence-based recommendations to communities of interest, decision-makers and funding partners

Use local data and our mapping tools for effective community planning and informed decision making.

Learn More

Need some advice on getting started with your community needs assessment or exploring who your community partners could be?

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Templates and Tools

Financing and Funding

Other resources