M4 empowers farmer-based organizations (FBOs) to assess their performance and to identify improvements along the four areas of membership, marketing, money, and management. Many assessments are complicated, expensive, and not directly meaningful to FBO leaders. The M4 assessment provides an open and transparent process for members to quickly reach consensus on their priorities.

The M4 assessment uses a four-level descriptive scale. With clear narrative at each level, stakeholders are able to reach consensus on their performance and see the behaviors required to move to higher levels. The M4 assess practices across four areas:

Marketing: ensuring broad member participation, engaging buyers, confirming product quality, publishing marketing plans, and maintaining adequate storage.

Membership: recruiting new members, retaining current members, facilitating information sessions, engaging members, collecting fees, and proactively collecting member feedback.

Money: maintaining accounting controls, adhering to procedures, conducting audits, providing financial statements, reaching profitability, and ensuring adequate cash flow.

Management: following bylaws, attaining appropriate legal status, engaging a board of directors, using a supervisory committee, adhering to management rules, and maintaining appropriate records.

Measuring Success

We rigorously monitor project activities and adaptively manage them to achieve success for our clients. We customize every project to meet the unique demands and emerging challenges of each situation. For M4, we create a comprehensive evaluation that builds from the following measures:

Output: number of improvements identified

Outcome (immediate): number of improvements completed

Outcome (distant): change in member satisfaction