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The APPT Self-Assessment Tool

Select the Functional Areas below that apply to your organization to begin your self-assessment. When you click on the area, you will see a set of indicators and key questions. You will select a level of participation that aligns to your practice.

Governance & Leadership

This area considers the composition and roles of the foundation’s governance (board of directors, board of trustees, or steering committee) and leadership (executive director, chief executive officer, or top management team) and explores who sets mission, values, and goals and who is involved in strategic planning and decision-making.

Operations & Staffing

This area explores the organizational policy, culture, and operating environment and considers the composition of any paid staff.

Grants Administration

This area considers who sets grant eligibility and due diligence requirements and who determines procedures and administrative processes in grants management.


This area covers the grantmaking programs of the foundation, including grant strategy and grant decisions, who makes those decisions and how they are made, and who is receiving the funding. It also explores relationships between the foundation and its grantees and whether and how the relationship goes beyond grant support.


This area explores the level of transparency about the foundation’s work and considers to whom communications are directed, what kind of stories are collected and shared, who makes those decisions, and who is the author of those stories / whose voices are featured.

Monitoring, Evaluations & Learning (MEL)

This area considers who collects data and what the data is about; who determines metrics, outcomes, and impact; who owns the collected data; and how the data is used.


This area looks at who is involved in discussions and decisions regarding foundation budgeting (including the grantmaking budget), as well as investment, reserve, and endowment policies.

Fundraising & Strategic Partnerships

This area looks at how funding is raised, how strategic partnerships are developed, and who is involved. Fundraising will only be relevant to public foundations that fundraise for their operations.

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