Slightly more than 50 percent of nonprofit organizations do a formal board evaluation. The National Council on Nonprofits advises: “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.”
We know the importance of evaluating programs. We know the importance of evaluating staff. Many nonprofits, though, think of board evaluation last and, as a result, nearly half of all nonprofits do no form of board assessment.
Self-assessments can be a vital governance tool. It gives your board a chance to look at the larger, more fundamental organizational issues, away from the day-to-day operations. Board evaluation focusses on the integral aspects of board work—from strategic planning to oversight and fundraising. Board assessments can lead to more engaged board members and to a board performing at higher effectiveness.
Board Source recommends board assessments as a way to inform board members of their roles and responsibilities and to take your board to higher levels of performance.
Evaluating your board is a best practice and most recommendations are to do a board evaluation every three years. There are many resources on this topic online, so you won’t have to reinvent the wheel when you get ready to assess your board of directors. Find resources that are a good fit with your organization and your board. Use your board assessment to identify and fill gaps on your board to build capacity. Your board assessment can be a tool to recognize and celebrate your board members, too.
If your organization is one of the nearly 50 percent who do not perform board assessments, now is a good time to start. Get help with obtaining board agreement, selecting evaluation tools and performing the board evaluation. Schedule a free consultation with Incite! today and investigate these resources for board evaluation.