Conducting a Community Needs Assessment

Offers strategies and methods for crafting needs assessments based on national, state, and local data resources and primary data collection methods

by The Children’s Trust

Target Skill Level: Beginner
Audience: Nonprofit staff, unaffiliated residents, grant writers

This two-hour training equips participants with the skills to conduct a community needs assessment. A community needs assessment is the process of systematically collecting, analyzing, and using information to educate and mobilize communities, develop priorities and action plans, and demonstrate need for funding proposals. The training is an overview of the process and an opportunity for participants to see existing datasets and primary data collection methods. The intention is to provide information on
  • where to find and access existing needs assessments conducted by local and state agencies (e.g., early learning coalition, healthy start coalition, department of children and families, health department);
  • how to access community-level data on such websites as KidStats and Maps, US Census American Community Survey, and Florida Health Charts; and 
  • how to decide what type of primary data collection (e.g., surveys, focus groups, and stakeholder interviews) to use and pointers on conducting the work and analyzing the data.


The Children’s Trust in Miami, Florida, offers trainings annually, using various formats, including slides, live demonstrations of the KidStats and Maps website, and guided in-class exercises to become familiar with websites. Staff provide additional one-on-one time with participants to navigate websites, as needed. 

Creative Commons License

Course Categories: Work-related Task