Over the past fifteen years of working in Catholic campus ministry, I have repeatedly heard pastors, lay Newman Center leaders and advisory board members ponder the same question, “Are we good at what we do?”  It’s a simple, yet essential query.

Accordingly, I have received countless calls from campus ministries who are searching for measurable data to compare themselves against.  Whether it is a board member curious about how much impact its programs are having or a Newman Center pastor wanting objective benchmarks to compare his fund development program against, robust information matters.

So how do we know if our campus ministry is good, better, or great?   How does a campus ministry document its year-to-year growth and success?  Sacred Heart Consulting Company strongly believes that an organization’s objective self-assessment is a foundational step toward planning for greatness.  Further, the ability to contrast your institution’s strengths and shortcomings against demographically peer organizations provides the information, and perhaps motivation, to strive for continued growth and success.  The Sacred Heart Consulting Institutional Assessment attempts to measure, organize and share this data.

About the Assessment

After shopping online for a bike or new pair of shoes, or whatever it may be, consumers have become accustomed to a receiving a quick, three-question satisfaction survey.  Nearly every fast-food receipt now includes an online survey, promising a free small fry on your next visit.  By contrast, the Institutional Assessment is neither a two-minute survey nor does it offer you a shallow and unsatisfying reward.  Rather, this project will require an investment of some effort and, perhaps, collaboration with other staff members, to complete.  It’s unlikely that a single employee will have access to all of the various pieces of data that are requested, often required.  And that’s the point.

An institutional assessment should be a collaborative venture that engages clergy, lay leaders and board members from across the organization to assess its strengths, acknowledge shortcomings and prioritize future efforts.  The assessment is divided into four areas: demographical data, institutional staffing, ministry impact and fund development.  Each area of assessment will first include a subjective rating on the overall strength or weakness of that topic.  Here, we are seeking your intuitive opinions, without the influence of qualitative measurements.  Assessment areas will then be measured with qualifying questions and concrete measurables for each applicable section. 

The duration of time that it takes an organization to complete the assessment will vary significantly based on the diversity of their ministries and fund development program.  The completion time will also depend on the accessibility of specific data (ministry numbers, budgets, fundraising successes, etc.) and the number of staff members collaborating to secure that information.  If an organization has the needed information at their fingertips, the assessment could be completed in 45 minutes or less. 

Let’s begin! Click here to start your assessment.