Self-Assessments for Nonprofit Boards
The Maine Association of Nonprofits has perfectly summed up the critical importance of regular self-assessments for boards:
A strong, vibrant board of directors is a clear indicator of a healthy organization. Yet even the best organizations need a periodic check-up to ensure that they cannot just survive but will really thrive in today’s environment. To check your board’s vital signs, or to put in place practices and strategies for a healthy and energized board, the best place to start is with a board self-assessment.
Tools for Board Self-Assessments
In Leading with Intent, a governance survey conducted by BoardSource, 51% of boards reported that they use a formal, written evaluation of their board, and 81% use written board member job descriptions, which is a useful way to clarify expectations for individual board members.
- Is Your Board Ready for Self-Assessments? (Maine Association of Nonprofits)
- Assessment tools:
- The New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits offers an online Board Self-Assessment Questionnaire that is an easy-to-use and objective self-evaluation tool. Online administration of the tool is available at no cost to nonprofits in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont. Other nonprofits pay an administrative fee of $50.
- Nonprofit Board Self-Assessment Tool (McKinsey & Company)
- Sample self-appraisals for the board as a whole and individual board members from the Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability.
- An Individual Board Member Self Evaluation questionnaire can also be useful to identify areas for improvement, issues for discussion, and topics for further board education.
- Learn about the board self-assessment tool available for-purchase through BoardSource (discounts for members of State Associations may apply).