Output Example

Below you will see a random sample outcome from the MaxCI Assessment Tool™ with organizational comparative scores (or ipsative), a scoring explanation, all business functions, and accompanying sets of assumptions and recommendations.

Alan Anonymous



The Following has been emailed to your inbox for future reference.

This is your organizational comparative (ipsative) score: 102 out of 159, or a 64.2%.

Mission Statement: 7 out of 17

Board of Directors: 13 out of 25

Business Plan: 7 out of 11

Administration: 10 out of 21

Financial Management: 10 out of 13

Programs & Services: 8 out of 12

Marketing Plan: 15 out of 19

Fundraising: 19 out of 25

Volunteers: 13 out of 16

Thank you for taking the MaxCI Assessment. If you found some of the questions difficult to answer, then our hope is that reflecting on your organization prompted a deeper understanding of where it is, and what is needed to reach your organizational capacity.

The above score, the one that compares your organization to itself, to its potential – and not to other organizations – is called ipsative. The questions that you answered were assigned values; your answers came to a total, and that total was compared to the highest possible total of those particular questions.  For example, a "69 (your score) out of 92 (your potential score)" is 76% of your potential and indicates that you are on solid ground to advance your organization.  If your ipsative score is "54 out of 120" which is 45% of your potential, that suggests that the staff and board of directors should meet to set organizational priorities. Any score less than 50% of your potential score indicates the same.

In addition to the organizational ipsative score, you have comparative scores for each of the nine business Functions. A quick glance will guide you toward the establishment of an action plan to address those Functions that need attention, and those that do not (at this time).

The Assumptions & Recommendations (below) often go beyond the questions asked or descriptions presented in the Levels (scenarios), that is, some functional elements not addressed in the scenarios or asked in the survey may be included in the Assumptions & Recommendations (A&R).

The combination of your ipsative score, the set of A&R and the reflection on your organization, becomes the next step toward achieving your potential and organizational capacity.

We suggest using your ipsative score and the A&R in many ways; as attachments to grant applications, to recruit new board members, to help set organizational priorities, to solidify relationships, and to become better stewards of funds awarded – or contributed – to your organization.  A statement from you such as, "This is where our organization is, we know what is needed, and this is why we need …" will help to build and secure relationships with all who read it.

Thank you, again, and best wishes for continuing success and good fortune.

If you need assistance contact support@maxci.net

Level B

Time has elapsed and the organization is growing.

  • Services continue and the organization is becoming more complex.
  • Staff and board members are investing more time and energy.
  • Programs may be expanding or undergoing changes.
  • Those being served may be requesting additional programs or services.


That your organization has documentation that the community agrees with your programs or services; that the community will continue to support your mission; and that the likelihood of other support will be forthcoming as you grow and expand your mission.


  1. Identify the key people in the community –stakeholders, contributors, even your own board of directors, et al – and make certain that you have their support.
  2. Limit the expansion of your mission to those areas – services or programs – that are affordable in terms of staff, board time, energy and funding.
  3. Use the same people who support your mission to give feedback as to the priorities of your possible addition or expansion of your mission.
  4. If the new or modified mission statement changes significantly, make certain that another nearby organization is not presently engaged in similar activities – or if they are, that your organization is augmenting a need.
  5. Expansion of your mission statement should not be attempted without carefully considering the levels of achievement in all other business Functions, that is, growth in just one Function will likely not lead to organizational success…growth should be simultaneously parallel and equal in all Functions.

Level C

Committees with specific responsibilities are formed.

  • The committees are formalized and each has the authority to carry out internal and external tasks.
  • The board structure evolves and board members assume specific responsibilities. 
  • Communication between board and staff is complex.
  • Planning for meetings and input from all members is important.
  • The business plan is reviewed.
  • Board training intensifies.
  • Community spirit and a feeling of shared ownership grows.


That your board of directors has structure, diversity and critical experience in finance and skills that are applicable to the committees on which they serve; that the mission and business plan are guiding the organization; that spirit within the board of directors permeates the staff and the community being served; and that cooperation with other organizations or maintaining the status quo has been decided.


  1. Have an outside consultant or professional conduct a board of directors “strengths and weaknesses” session without staff present.
  2. Board training must be available to change weaknesses into strengths.
  3. Train the board of directors with staff present on topics related to the size and strengths of your organization.
  4. Board training must be related to their roles and responsibilities and to the effective development of your business or strategic plan (particularly fund raising and cost controls – direct and indirect).
  5. The above should be used when you recruit new board members.
  6. Consider the Levels of achievement in all other business Functions, that is, growth in just one Function will likely not lead to organizational success…growth should be simultaneously parallel and equal in all Functions.

Level C

The organization begins to evaluate how staff and board members spend their time and resources, and what that means for the effectiveness of programs and services.

  • It may discover that efforts are scattered and work efforts are not very effective.
  • Formerly reactive planning becomes more deliberate and long-term.
  • The organization is overwhelmed by emerging challenges (e.g., availability of funds and resources, economic conditions, perceived image, etc.).
  • The board and staff become more proactive in their planning.


That an analysis of resources spent gives cause to plan for future expansion or addition of programs or services; that the plan united the staff and board which then generated a sense of organizational confidence; that the plan is used to generate support from the community, stakeholders and funding sources; and that direct costs are linked to more items in the plan.


  1. Use the process of planning as a check list for keeping the organization on track.
  2. Future planning should include board, staff, and selected proponents – and even a few “opponents” – stakeholders and other persons outside the community.
  3. Use you strategic plan – its goals and objectives – as a tool in marketing, fund development and recruitment of new board members and volunteers. All Functions should be addressed in your plan.
  4. Organizational planning without cost controls is like flying without wings. Each Function, when appropriate, is to be scrutinized and a decision made to view its “costs” as an investment to be maintained…or as a liability that must to be cut.
  5. Consider the Levels of achievement in all other business Functions, that is, growth in just one Function will likely not lead to organizational success…growth should be simultaneously parallel and equal in all Functions.

Level B

The executive director hires staff to deliver programs and services.

  • Board members begin to retreat from performing staff functions, and their relationship with the staff becomes more formal.
  • Employment/personnel policies and procedures are needed.
  • Job descriptions, work plans, and evaluation mechanisms are needed.
  • Salaries and benefits, work-place environment, and additional staff perks are considered.
  • The executive director begins managing staff and volunteers (as well other resources) so as to generate support and exposure in the community.


That at least one full-time person is on staff; that other staff report to the executive director; that if board members continue to be involved in delivery of programs and/or services, then they, too, report to the executive director but must quickly cease from that particular type of involvement; that the concept of organizational structure is becoming a reality.


  1. All job descriptions for the executive director and staff are clearly written and then presented to the board for approval (no board members should be fulfilling staff duties at this level).
  2. Evaluate the leadership styles of the executive director and board officers to insure a clear understanding of differing styles and how they can compliment – rather than conflict – with one another.
  3. No matter what leadership style the executive director displays, s/he must be consistent, help create teamwork and synergy, begin to delegate responsibilities and move away from hands on management.
  4. The executive director must spend time in the community to generate exposure for the organization.
  5. The executive director must spend time outside the immediate community to advocate for the organization and to cultivate resources such as potential grantors, professionals to assist the board of directors in its development and business leaders.
  6. The board of directors must completely withdraw from performing staff duties.
  7. Consider the Levels of achievement in all other business Functions, that is, growth in just one Function will likely not lead to organizational success…growth should be simultaneously parallel and equal in all Functions.

Level B

Bookkeeping is likely done using a modified cash system or double-entry accounting software.

  • At the end of the fiscal or calendar year, the books are closed.
  • Direct cost allocation is used, even when cost areas and revenue sources expand.
  • Budgeting is piecemeal and still contributor-driven.
  • Bookkeeping is still done by a board member or volunteer
  • The audit is internal and may be conducted by a committee.
  • The payroll is managed internally or by an accounting service.


That one person is responsible for keeping the books; that cost controls are critical to the existence of your organization; that attention is being directed to the use of time – for the executive director and staff; that direct cost allocations are becoming part of your budget; and that deficit spending will be avoided.


  1. Consider the timing to evolve the bookkeeping system to annual accrual.
  2. Direct cost allocations should be in place for programs and/or services and for all Functions of the organization – the entire organization.
  3. The budget is based on the mission of your organization and not based on available grant funds.
  4. The board’s Finance Committee understands its fiduciary responsibility and is involved and responsible for budget reviews and in creating the next annual budget.
  5. An external professional company or individual should audit your books, the results published and used to gain support from the community that you serve.
  6. Consider the Levels of achievement in all other business Functions, that is, growth in just one Function will likely not lead to organizational success…growth should be simultaneously parallel and equal in all Functions.

Level C

As the organization evolves, the responsibility of designing programs and services shifts towards the executive director and staff.

  • Mechanisms are developed to determine the needs of the community.
  • Staff make program and service recommendations to the board of directors.
  • Staff are mostly in charge of program and service implementation, but are still assisted by volunteers and a very few board members.
  • Evaluation standards surpass the reporting requirements and are outcome-based.
  • The board assesses whether the programs and services are accomplishing organization's objectives and mission.
  • The organization continues responding to community needs but is increasingly  proactive in its program and service development.


That implementation or delivery of programs and/or services are now the responsibility of paid staff and not the executive director; that focus group are well attended and attendees have influenced decisions; that direct costs are known and the definition of – or how to determine – “indirect costs” stirs discussion and decision-making; that meeting needs has moved toward the proactive mode; and that goals and objectives – according to the mission statement – are being met as well as community and stakeholder expectations.


  1. Program and/or service offering should be based on a combination of needs assessments in the community – and possibly in adjacent communities – and the organization’s strategic and proactive planning.
  2. Evaluation should be conducted on primarily organizational staff (not just the person responsible) with input and/or help from other stakeholders in the community.
  3. Results must be measured and based on outcomes.
  4. Those outcomes must include direct costs of each program and/or service.
  5. That there is a consensus among the board members as to the method of determining indirect costs.
  6. Become more proactive – not aggressive – in your decision-making with a sense of accomplishment and leadership.
  7. Consider the Levels of achievement in all other business Functions, that is, growth in just one Function will likely not lead to organizational success…growth should be simultaneously parallel and equal in all Functions

Level C

Recognition of resource competition prompts the development of a marketing plan.

  • The plan is designed to recruit board members, secure more funds, hire qualified staff, and generally promote the organization.
  • Special efforts are made to gain favorable standing with the media.
  • The promotion network is fairly comprehensive and is limited mainly by budget constraints.
  • The public begins to recognize the the organization and its efforts through the media.
  • The public image continues to be that of the executive director, but is moving towards that of the organization.


That a fully developed marketing plan – including goals, objectives, measurable outcomes, assigned direct costs – is being implemented; that the network of contacts is beginning to broaden, and becoming more helpful and supportive; that the organization as a whole is pleased with a the marketing efforts but realizes more must be done; and that the question “which comes first: the marketing – or the success of another organization in the organization.” (It cannot be answered – all are interdependent.)


  1. Perform a cost/benefit analysis of all your marketing strategies – from electronic to “guerrilla tactics” to one-on-one meetings
  2. Use your past successes, present-day programs and/or services and future plans to instill greater confidence in the community served, financial contributors (individuals and organizational grantors) and the media.
  3. If not in place, consider employing a marketing director.
  4. The executive director should spend more time on fund development and less time implementing the marketing plan.
  5. Consider assigning indirect costs to each activity or event.
  6. Develop a “personality” or culture of your organization so that the public sees all that it does, not just the people who are responsible for implementing the formal marketing plan.
  7. Consider the Levels of achievement in all other business Functions, that is, growth in just one Function will likely not lead to organizational success…growth should be simultaneously parallel and equal in all Functions.

Level C

The organization installs systems to track grant proposals and contributions from individuals.

  • As grants and contributions increase, valuable contributor information is recorded.
  • Additional contribution categories are created to attract new contributors and encourage existing contributors to give more, and more often.
  • Board members increase their participation to leverage their business and personal connections for fundraising purposes.
  • Contributor acknowledgment and recognition are displayed in a public annual event.


That at least one person is fully responsible for fund raising; that there is more than one annual solicitation; that particular programs and/or services are used as motivators in those solicitations; that more funds are needed to support program and/or service expansions and a possible major improvement or purchase; that the board of directors is involved in fund raising; that you know the direct costs and have agreed upon the indirect costs of fund raising; that the contributor or donor base is being managed successfully and that an endowment fund and/or a cash reserve is being considered.


  1. Develop an understanding of your contributors and which of your programs and/or service offerings are most appealing to them, that is, know their needs.
  2. Use your board of directors and their business and professional networks to expand your solicitation mailing list by 25%
  3. Cull your mailing list – remove those who have not responded to solicitations in the past two years or moved out of the area or who are deceased (NEVER mail a solicitation to the spouse).
  4. Create a cash reserve.
  5. Know the indirect costs to determine the net gain for this profit center.
  6. Consider updating your present software program to one that is designed specifically for fund raising.
  7. Consider hiring a full time development director.
  8. Consider the Levels of achievement in all other business Functions, that is, growth in just one Function will likely not lead to organizational success…growth should be simultaneously parallel and equal in all Functions.

Level C

Board members accept more policy responsibilities and spend less time on volunteer activities.

  • They are "in charge" of projects and events, and assigned volunteers.
  • Increasing volunteer recruitment becomes critical, as staff are overwhelmed by the time demands of programs or services. 
  • Recruitment agencies are used to help find volunteers.
  • Training is recognized as important but remains primarily on-the-job.
  • Volunteer orientation begins.
  • Recognition is more public and formal; award dinners or lunches are held, and stakeholders and the media are invited.


That your organization is very clear on the number of volunteers needed and the activities in which they will engage – all documented in a written plan; that consideration is given to employing a part-time staff person to manage the volunteer program (it could be an “ex” volunteer); that the number of hours spent by volunteers is documented and used as supplemental information when applying for grants; and that volunteer training is formalized and scheduled periodically (if avoidable, do not train volunteers one at a time).


  1. It’s likely time for the board of directors to be completely excused from any participation in staff responsibilities.
  2. Hire a part time (or part of another staff member’s responsibility) and consider the hiring of a full time volunteer coordinator in the future.
  3. One very effective means to attract potential volunteers is to ask your present volunteers to invite a friend or neighbor to your volunteer recognition event.
  4. It could be time for “Volunteers” to become a cost center or a line item in your budget.
  5. It’s a good idea to estimate the hours spent by volunteers and place an estimated value on their time, and then compare that estimate to the actual dollars spent – both direct and indirect – on your program.
  6. Please consider the Levels of achievement in all other business Functions, that is, growth in just one Function will likely not lead to organizational success…growth should be simultaneously parallel (somewhat) and equal (nearly) in all Functions.