The broader purpose of a board self-assessment is to create and maintain a healthy board by assessing members’ perceptions and status of their servitude. More specifically, the assessment should ensure non-profit compliance, evaluate best practices, identify where things need to be realigned, and to help reduce conflict by clarifying role of the board versus staff.
While this annual activity is the responsibility of the Governance Committee, the chief executive of the organization may have to prompt the activity and offer tools for the board to utilize. There are many resources available but do what works best for your board. Questions can include issues such as best practices and bylaw adherence, but they may also include questions specific to your organization’s value, mission, or programs.
Some key components of any board self-assessment should include:
- Identity and direction: Is there a strategic plan and is it being followed and routinely reviewed?
- Resourcing the board by ensuring the right people are in place.
- Providing oversight by evaluating the chief executive with an annual review as well as evaluating general board operations such as setting meeting agendas that encourage discussion as well as addressing strategic direction.
BoardSource offers a full checklist of board roles and responsibilities that dive into this further.
So, what now? Download a self-assessment resource and ensure you are gathering data that will be most useful. The Executive Committee should determine where there are gaps and develop a plan to address the issues. Review or create a committee structure that allows for a funnel on and off the board as you make some transitions and movements. Listed below are some self-assessment resources for you to utilize:
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