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Based in beautiful Boulder, Colorado, Dave is an award-winning speaker, sought after conference and workshop participant and
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Non-profit Board of Directors Self-Assessment Survey
The following is from the Board Café, a discussion forum and newsletter for Directors of non-profit organizations, but the self-assessment itself is more widely applicable for Directors of any organization.
At a regular physical check-up, the doctor may begin by
asking the patient, "How are you feeling?" The answer is
important. Although some patients may feel well but have a
hidden disease, the patient's own sense of well being is
still an important indicator. In a similar way, when a
board asks itself, "How do we feel about our board and our
organization?" the answer is a useful indicator, if not an
error-proof test. An annual poll of board members lets
the board get a sense of how its members feel. There are
many such surveys, but here's a short one you can try.
Give board members a scale to choose from for each answer,
such as 1 - 5, with 1 being Not Confident and 5 being Very
Confident. You might also ask your executive director (and
other staff who frequently work with the board) to fill
out a similar survey, and then use the results of both to
kick off a discussion where people reflect on the survey
results and establish objectives for the year about board
BOARD SELF-ASSESSMENT SURVEY
Please rate your assessment of the Board of Directors'
performance on a scale of 1 - 5, with 1 = Not At All
Confident, and 5 - Very Confident.
How confident are you that as an effective governing body,
Monitors and evaluates the performance of the executive
director on a regular basis?
Ensures legal compliance with federal, state, and local
Ensures that government contract obligations are
Monitors financial performance and projections on a
Has a strategic vision for the organization?
Has adopted an income strategy (that combines
contributions, earned income and other revenue) to ensure
Has a clear policy on the responsibilities of board
members in fundraising?
Has adopted a conflict of interest policy that is
Currently contains an appropriate range of expertise
and diversity to make it an effective governing body?
Regularly assesses its own work?
How confident are you that most or all board members:
Understand the mission and purpose of the
Are adequately knowledgeable about the organization's
Act as ambassadors to the community on behalf of the
organization and its constituencies?
Follow through on commitments they have made as board
Understand the role that volunteers play in the
Understand the respective roles of the board and
Are appropriately involved in board activities?
What information-whether about the organization, the
field (such as immigration), nonprofit management or
nonprofit boards-would you like to get to help you be a
better board member?
When you joined the board, did you have ideas on how
you would help the organization that haven't happened? If
so, what ideas?
What suggestions/questions do you have for the board
chair or the executive director about the board, your own
role, or any other aspect of the organization?
Would you like the board chair to contact you about
Would you like the executive director to contact you
about getting together?
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