Business Planning Assessment Application

Grounded Solutions Network
Grounded Solutions Network is launching a second round of its fellowship program for executive leaders looking to undertake business planning for organizational growth and/or increased sustainability.  Apply now to complete an Organizational Assessment, which will then qualify you for additional training and one-on-one coaching opportunities later in 2016 and beyond. 

**Please note - our spring cohorts are now full, however you can still complete the application to join our waitlist.**  

Click "Next Page" below to access the application, click here to return to the full program description and here for information on program eligibility, or here for a preview of the online application. If you have any trouble completing the application, please call Jenee at 503-493-1000 ext. 10.


Page 1 - Applicant Info & Eligibility Review

If you're unsure or interested in joining for the first time, contact Jenee Gaynor at or 503.493.1000 x10.

Please note that this opportunity is geared towards more experienced programs, so if you are a relatively new program, please contact Jenee at to discuss your eligibility.

Page 2 - Eligibility Review, Part 2

Stewardship Standards Self-Assessment Section 
Review each standard and its associated practices, and enter your current implementation status.  In general, we expect that successful applicants will be partially implementing each of these standards.  See for more information and the full list of Stewardship Standards. 

Standard 1.1 - Goals and Objectives
Clearly Articulate the Program’s Goals and Objectives:  In order to operate effectively, programs need their objectives to be clearly stated and prioritized. This helps them track successes, make revisions to program design, and set budget priorities.

Standard 1.2 - Program Design and Review 

Periodically review and update program design:  Programs that periodically review and update program design create an opportunity to implement improved practices and respond to changing market conditions.

Standard 1.3 - Policies and Procedures
Adopt detailed policies and procedures to direct program operations:  Written operation guidelines ensure greater consistency in program implementation and preserve institutional knowledge about the program when staffing changes.

Standard 1.4 - Legal Counsel
Coordinate support from knowledgeable legal counsel:  Affordable homeownership transactions can be complex.  Programs need access to legal counsel experienced in working with affordability restrictions, real estate contracts, homebuyer financing, and fair housing.  This legal counsel should be familiar with federal, state and local laws that relate to affordable housing.

Standard 1.5 - Conflict of Interest
Manage real and perceived conflicts of interest:  It is in the program’s best interest to manage perceived or real conflicts of interest in order to maintain credibility in the public eye.

Standard 1.6 Information Tracking
Systematically track information on transactions, owners, borrowers, and homes:  In order to effectively manage affordable units over time, program staff must be able to securely store data and readily access information about prior transactions.

Standard 1.7 Operating Budgets
Determine revenue needs and identify sources to meet those needs:  A realistic operating budget will show whether the program may face a gap between income and operating costs.  The program will then be able to prepare for budget shortfalls by identifying additional sources of revenue.

Standard 1.8 - Financial Systems
Systematically track revenues and expenditures, segregate restricted funds, and conduct periodic audits:  Programs with adequate financial management systems are less at risk of violating the requirements of their funders and are more likely to maintain financial support for their programs. 

Page 3 - Readiness Survey

Please answer the following yes/no questions to help us better understand and gauge your organization's current capacity and readiness for new business development. For many nonprofits, the term "business" is a new term; most groups use words like "programs" to describe what they do.  As you complete this short questionnaire, keep in mind that what we're asking about is essentially your preparedness to expand your programs or take on new ones. 

Page 4 - Readiness Survey, Part 2

Page 5 - Readiness Survey, Part 3

Page 6 - Business Planning Idea List

Grounded Solutions Network will review your submissions and be in touch with any questions. All qualified applicants will receive a written request for additional organizational documents and stakeholder interview information, which must be submitted in a timely manner in order to move forward with the assessment process. 

If you have any questions or have trouble with the online form, 
please call Jenee at 503-493-1000 ext. 10.