A periodic assessment of your boards performance is helpful in keeping your board operating at the highest and best use of its capacity. A high performing board provides the greatest asset to the organization and value to the chief executive. Board assessments are available in a variety of formats to meet your needs.
BoardSource offers an assessment tool built around the ten basic responsibilities of nonprofit boards. This interactive tool allows you to pinpoint areas of success and areas of investment to improve your boards impact on the organization. It measures four key areas, set direction, ensuring resources, providing oversight, and board structure and operations. It is recommended that you engage in the assessment process every two years.
There are also quick surveys you can implement at the end of a board meeting or use an online survey tool to perform a periodic investment. Simple questions such as are our meetings productive, are we receiving timely information to make decisions, and do we encourage a culture of inquiry, go a long way in establishing a base line for feedback. Some organizations dedicate a board member to be the observer during a board meeting to evaluate the participation and performance of the board and provide direct and timely feedback.
Regardless of which tool you use, time spent doing an assessment is worthwhile and meaningful in the “care and feeding” of the organization’s extended management team, the board!