Community Needs Assessment

If your organization wants to have a positive impact on a community or focus area, understanding and prioritizing needs is key. Maybe what you need is a needs assessment. A JVA needs assessment can help you recognize assets to build upon, as well as gaps between the status quo and the ideal.

An approach tailored to your needs

Our multifaceted team can help you get answers, whether you’re researching a single, narrow topic for a large area (who receives nutrition assistance in your county and what are the barriers to those that are eligible but unenrolled?), a broad topic for a small area (what challenges do low-income residents in my ZIP code face?), or any other combination. We have extensive experience in conducting needs assessments using mixed methods, and we know how to gather diverse input to ensure the many voices of your community are engaged and heard.

JVA will work with you to identify and develop the right tools for your community or focus area. We offer a flexible array of services to lead or support your organization in conducting a community needs assessment. We can develop, implement and analyze multiple tools, including environmental scans, interviews, focus groups and surveys, to assess and understand your community and its needs. The result will be a snapshot of the strengths and challenges in your community and our recommendations on how to meet the needs, complement the assets and address the gaps.

Experience with diverse communities

Our staff’s ability to reach populations through collaborative community approaches and to tailor methods aligned with audiences ensures that multiple perspectives are incorporated—from policymakers to organizational leaders, from community members to service providers—and that those providing feedback feel respected and valued. In addition to being attuned to appropriate methods, JVA also applies a rigorous lens to these assessments (e.g., establishing representative sample sizes and building on best-practice literature with tool design).

Over the years, JVA has conducted community needs assessments for countless partners in the areas of aging, early childhood, health, homelessness, human services, hunger, youth services and many more. This broad range of experience has allowed us to gain a deep understanding of the best approaches to elicit and gather useful and valuable information from diverse communities while respecting residents and their personal and cultural sensitivities.

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