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Board Evaluation 4 Series – October 2013 Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center Allen County Public Library
Today’s Objectives: ● What is Board Assessment? ● Why it Should be Done ● Is the Board Ready? ● What Assessment Can & Can’t Do ● “How To” 2 ©Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center - 4 Series
What It’s Not: A Performance Evaluation Substitute CEO Evaluation Miracle Tool 3 What Is Board Assessment? A Process Review Plan ©Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center - 4 Series
Self-Assessment of… Individual board members’ own knowledge & skills, or knowledge & skills of the Board as a whole? Process 4 ©Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center - 4 Series
Once completed who will evaluate & tabulate the results? Will it be done in-house or out? Process 5 ©Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center - 4 Series
Review Next step, identify & discuss strengths; areas which need improvement. 6 ©Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center - 4 Series
Plan Third step: ●Agree on goals ●Prioritize activities to reach goals ●Implement changes ©Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center - 4 Series 7
Why Should Assessment be Done? To check on the state of health of an organization. Also: It’s a Best Practice It spurs discussion It leads to objectives Strong Organizations ≡ Strong Boards 8 ©Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center - 4 Series
Is it the Right Time to Assess? Board assessment should be done periodically, but especially when there is a leadership transition anticipated or several years have lapsed since the last evaluation. Also, be sure both the board and staff are committed to the process. 9 ©Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center - 4 Series
It’s Not Ready When: ●The organization is facing crisis ●The board & staff are at odds ●The board lacks capacity to implement the assessment 10 ©Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center - 4 Series
What Assessment Can Do … ●Tell board members how the Board thinks it’s doing ●Provide a summary of the board’s ‘health’ ●Open discussion 11 ©Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center - 4 Series
And Can’t Do: ●Take place of the CEO’s Evaluation ●Solve the problem of a difficult board member ●Transform a board overnight 12 ©Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center - 4 Series
How to; Start with… Getting Everyone Committed The CEO and Board Chair should be of one mind about assessment 13 ©Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center - 4 Series
How to: Determine who’s responsible for getting the process started. It could be the CEO, Board Governance Committee, or several dedicated, willing board members. 14 ©Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center - 4 Series
What Do You Want to Know? 15 ©Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center - 4 Series
The Questionnaire There are many examples of surveys available. But think … What is it you want to know? Do board members understand their responsibilities? Are they committed to the organization’s mission? Or maybe you want to know how they perceive the quality of board meetings? Are meetings run efficiently? Are they too long? Are the financials easily understood? 16 ©Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center - 4 Series
If you write your own Questionnaire ●Ask the same question in different ways ●Avoid: ●ambiguous questions ●‘leading’ questions ●Do allow for ‘no answer’ or ‘not applicable’ ●Use balanced choice scales 17 ©Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center - 4 Series
How to: administer the survey Anonymity is important to honest answers so consider that when choosing. Paper or ? First determine if you will do it in-house or use an outside resource. 18 ©Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center - 4 Series
How To: Review & Evaluate ●Tabulate Results Share Results ●Make it an Occasion ●Discuss what changes should be implemented 19 ©Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center - 4 Series
How To: ●Develop Governance ●Improve performance, e.g. effective meetings ●Keep it Going ●Schedule periodic review 20 ©Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center - 4 Series
Resources: 90 Question Self Assessment: Nonprofit Association of Oregon Indiana Community Action Association Self Assessment Individual Member Report Card: Foley-Hoag Basics of Survey & Question Design Tools for Self-Assessment Board Report with Assessment Grid 21 ©Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center - 4 Series
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