Community Assessment Rubric

A tool for exploring the community you wish to serve

Target Community


  • Where will you be located and what are the demographics of the neighborhood?
  • Who are the students you hope to serve?
  • What are some of the challenges faced by students in the area?

Local schools

  • What are your existing or potential connections with schools and teachers in your community?
  • List and describe the schools in the neighborhood that you hope to serve. Include demographic information such as: graduation rate, literacy rate, free and reduced lunch data, English language learner/ESL data, and any other pertinent school district or neighborhood data.

Literacy and literary organizations

  • Identify other literacy and tutoring organizations in your city and list any that are within five miles of the proposed site.
  • What do they already provide? How will your organization be different? Are you open to collaboration? Are they?


  • Identify your potential volunteer community.
  • How will they learn about your organization?
  • How will you actively recruit volunteers and ensure a diverse pool of volunteers that reflects the community you’ll be serving?

Community partnerships

  • Identify potential partner universities, colleges, and community groups, businesses for potential sponsorships, and connections to the literary/arts community that could benefit the proposed site.
  • What efforts have you made/will you make to ensure your staff, board, and volunteers represent a broad cross-section of the city’s population — racially, culturally, and socio-economically?

Fundraising and public relations

  • Who on your team has nonprofit fundraising experience and connections to the local philanthropic community?
  • Have you identified key local individual donors and foundations that would be prospective funders?
  • Is there someone on your team who has public relations and marketing experience? Does this person have connections to the local press?

Earned Income Stream


  • How much foot traffic does your proposed retail location have? Is this location attractive to shoppers?
  • What makes your business unique? What sets you apart?
  • Is the store accessible by public transit?
  • Is the proposed location near the population of students and families you intend to serve?
  • Consider at least five other businesses in the proposed retail area: What are their average sales like? How busy are they on a weekday? On a weekend? What are their hours? Who are their shoppers? How do they do outreach in the community?
  • Who on your team has experience with retail? Has someone run a business?