Community Needs Assessment and Strategic Planning

QWE Practice Guideline: 310 – Partner with organizations and peers in the local community

Target group: Any organization supporting and/or employing individuals with disabilities

Practice Description

The organization’s strategic plan was developed after a full community needs assessment.

Resources Needed

Subject matter experts/trainers

  • Staff or consultant with knowledge of the following;
    • Survey and interviewing procedures, including how to analyze data
    • Knowledge of the organization and its operations
    • Facilitation skills
    • Strategic planning process
    • Networking skills


  • Any materials used for capturing and analyzing assessment data, then writing up and distributing the strategic plan

Labor hours

  • Staff time for conducting all assessment activities and writing strategic plan

Implementation Process


  • Connect with local organizations to complete a Community Needs Assessment
    • Colleges, universities, disabilities organizations
  • Develop team for conducting the assessment
  • Provide training for team on processes that will be used
  • Complete following assessment activities:
    • Surveys
      • Community opportunities and needs
        • Target counties where service and support is provided
      • Demographics
    • Leadership interviews
      • Government officials
      • Chamber of Commerce
      • Board of Education
      • University leaders
      • High profile employers in the community
    • Analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, and vision
  • Analyze all data from assessment activities
  • Develop Strategic Action Plan
    • What needs should be addressed and how should they be addressed


  • SOPs
  • Training



  • In July of 2010, GIMG opened a retail store and a Job Connection to provide employment and training services to persons with barriers to employment including disabilities. This location now serves job seekers and providers from six counties. By August 31, 2011, they provided employment services to 1157 individuals including 38 with significant disabilities and placed 185 people in unsubsidized employment including 14 with significant disabilities.


  • Organizationally, the information obtained was used to create strategic plan goals and objectives that allowed GIMG to maximize training and employment opportunities for those in their service area.  The Strategic Plan that ensued had a strong focus of bringing services to this rural community that showed a lot of promise but limited resources as well as no public transportation. They are supported by the local communities and brainstorming as a team on how to enhance their services. The County Commissioners are now discussing the feasibility of providing public transportation in the community.

NPA: Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA
Location: Macon, GA
Date Submitted: 2011