Step 2 Establish Key Organizational Facts


Step 2: Establish Key Organizational Facts

To start, write a brief overview description creating an organizational fact sheet of your organization, including the following information:

when it was established and by whom

legal forms of organization and tax status

its current CEO

its industry or industries

its size

its general purpose

Typically, such overviews in a report of this size are no more than one page (approximately 250 to 300 words).

Remember to apply the perspective of an outside consultant to your analysis. Be as objective as possible. Also, consider the audience for this report: key stakeholders including, board members, new employees, and anyone else who would benefit from this overview.

creating an organizational fact sheet= Creating an Organizational Fact Sheet

Fact sheets vary depending upon the organization and intended audience. For the purposes of this project, your fact sheet should be a one-page overview of important information any new or prospective employee or board member would find helpful. You should adapt the fact sheet you create to fit your specific organization.

Organizations in the nonprofit sector use varyinglanguage and approaches to share similar important types of information. To see an example, you can look for the Facts section or About section on the website of the American Red Cross or United Way.

If you scan the Internet for organizational fact sheets, you will find many different templates and examples. You will also find that different types of organizations use different labels for the areas on their websites where they share information. Corporations sometimes use an About page to share information of general interest to all stakeholders and then create a one-page fact sheet targeted primarily at investors. To see examples, search the corporate website of companies like Exxon Mobil or IBM.

Those who work in large government departments may find many different fact sheets. For example , if you search the About section one the US State Department website, you will probably find yourself on a page intended as a starting place for people interested in a career. If you work for a small or new business that does not yet have a fact sheet, you might find the toolkit for small- and medium-size enterprises on the International Monetary Fund’s website helpful.

Fact sheets typically provide information that can be independently verified (i.e., facts), while About pages convey something about the organization’s intended purpose and areas of focus. In it’s simpliest form, a fact sheet focuses primarily on presenting key facts about the organization, but it might also link to the organization’s mission, vision, values, and strategy.

Below are examples of information you may wish to include in a one-page fact sheet:

name of organization


when organization was created

legal status


purpose, products, or services

size (i.e., number of employees)

leadership (i.e., CEO and members of the executive leadership team)

mission and vision

other important facts appropriate for your organizational type

legal forms of organization = Legal Forms of Organization

An organization may operate in one of several sectors, which determines its legal form of organization. The following questions can help clarify what legal form of organization a company or initiative has.

Which sector is your organization operating in: private, public (i.e., government), or nonprofit?

If private, review Law in Business (Varner, 2007), located in the Resources section below, to determine which of the following best describes your organization:




If public (government), which of the following best describes your organization:




If a nonprofit organization see A Nonprofit Organization (Dicke, 2011), located in the Resources section below. This article provides some general information about the sector and can help you determine its tax status. Many organizations will likely qualify as a 501(c)(3), which is the most common type of nonprofit. If you have an interest in learning more, you might want to explore some of the websites that provide useful information about this sector. One example is the Urban Institute’s National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), which provides information and research about the sector. Another potentially useful resource is the Charity Navigator, which helps contributors understand the different types of 501(c) organizations and their status for tax purposes. Of course, another very useful source is the IRS website. If, for example, you work for a trade or professional association—a 501(c)(6)—you could search the IRS site for the term business leagues. 

outside consultant = Developing a Consultant’s Perspective

When examining an organization you know well, one of the challenges is achieving sufficient distance to ensure you are being as objective as possible. It can be helpful to think about what you would expect of an outside consultant if one were hired by your organization. Then imagine yourself in that role, assuming those same responsibilities and needing to meet the same expectations. This is what is meant by developing a consultant’s perspective.

We expect consultants to have the expert knowledge required to address a particular project or task. We also expect and need consultants to be skilled at recognizing how their own experiences, beliefs, and values, as well as those of others, can influence thinking and decisions. When thinking about situations at work, it is typical for us to have ideas about why they are as they are and, sometimes, how they might be made better. When a consultant is brought in to look at the same situation he or she may have some good preliminary ideas thanks to expert knowledge, but will need to conduct a careful investigation before reaching any conclusions or recommendations. This is what you will want to do for this project. In other words, you will need to develop the required expertise and make every effort to ensure your approach, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are sound and supportable.

To achieve sufficient distance it can be helpful to imagine that you are a consultant for another organization that is similar to yours but that you do not know. In addition, actually write down your beginning assumptions, ideas, and possible biases, and then figure out what you can do to avoid being influenced by them. Depending upon the situation, you might imagine what would happen if the organization accepted your initial hunches, analysis, or recommendations and the situation was made worse. In other words, take the time to imagine the harm you might do if your initial ideas are wrong, and then take the necessary steps to limit this possible outcome. Discussing any issues or concerns with your professor is also important.



There are many individuals and groups who have a stake in what an organization does and in how well it does it. Stakeholder theory proposes that organizational performance relies on recognition and inclusion of key stakeholders in the organization’s major decisions. The need to manage stakeholders effectively is an important responsibility and potential challenge for leaders and managers (Fassin, 2012; Loi, 2016).

Read the article Stakeholder located in the resources section below for more about what a stakeholder is and why this is important to recognize all stakeholders.


Fassin, Y. (2012). Stakeholder management, reciprocity and stakeholder responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 109(1), 83–96. doi:10.1007/s10551-012-1381-8

Loi, T. H. (2016). Stakeholder management: A case of its related capability and performance. Management