• Michelle Molina

Decision-Making Model for Nonprofits




Having a clear decision-making process is important for nonprofits and coalitions. Employing good decision-making strategies will make sure that your organization or group can move forward when challenges emerge.


One of the reasons people are hesitant to participate in evaluation activities is that they have done so in the past and left feeling unheard. Here, I not only discuss what decision-making process you can use but also share ideas for making sure that people feel heard. Namely, that you should be clear about what the process is and what their role will be in that process (i.e., be transparent).


Here are the steps that I outline in this decision-making model:

  1. Identify the decision

  2. Identify decision-makers and influencers

  3. Clarify stakeholder roles

  4. Identify what data is needed to inform decision-making

  5. Gather useful data

  6. Share data with stakeholders (e.g., data party)

  7. Spend time brainstorming solutions or options

  8. Select what you will move forward with

  9. Develop a plan to implement (that includes communicating back with those who were a part of the process)

You might also use the following decision-making techniques or tips:

  1. Having shorter decision-making cycles

  2. (Again) Being transparent about the process

  3. Build your overall facilitation skills

Those tips will not only help your decision-making, but they can also build your overall evaluation capacity too.


Background: Michelle Molina is the principal and founder of Connecting Evidence. She is an evaluator who loves helping organizations working on changing complex systems. The purpose of this channel is to help you build your adaptive capacity and develop a learning organization.


Prior Videos:

  1. Stakeholder Analysis: https://www.connectingevidence.com/post/stakeholder-analysis-tool-for-nonprofits

  2. Participatory Approaches for Nonprofits: https://www.connectingevidence.com/post/participatory-approaches-for-nonprofits

  3. Participatory Approach Tips for Nonprofits: https://youtu.be/dgSgGj3swS8

  4. 4-h Evaluation Skill-A-Thon: https://www.connectingevidence.com/post/participatory-evaluation-easy-4-h-example

Other Resources:

  1. Adaptive Action: https://amzn.to/3AKjGhA (affiliate link)

  2. Art of Convening: https://amzn.to/3kDZEj7 (affiliate link)

  3. Emergent Strategy: https://amzn.to/2WeQobP (affiliate link)

  4. Liberating Structures: https://amzn.to/39FutxE (affiliate link)

  5. Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making: https://amzn.to/3zEoWBT (affiliate link)

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