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 they not only survive but thrive in today’s environment.
A board self-assessment is the best place to start to check your board’s vital signs, or to put in place practices and strategies for a healthy and energized board.
About MANP's Tool
To help Maine nonprofits maximize the potential of their boards, MANP's team and Jeff Wahlstrom, founder of Starboard Leadership Consulting, developed an online board self-assessment tool that offers organizations an easy and practical way to assess their boards’ strengths and and areas for development.
First developed in 2005, the board self-assessment has since been updated with input from dozens of nonprofit leaders.The tool includes 90+ questions across the following categories:
- Organizational Mission
- Strategic Direction
- Monitoring Program & Service Delivery
- Financial Oversight
- Resource Development
- Communication & Community Relations
- Supporting & Evaluating the Executive Director
- Board Meetings
- Board Governance & Policies
- Selection, Recruitment & Orientation
Each section includes both rating scales and open-ended question geared at gathering ideas for how the board could improve.
Steps to Self-Assessment
1. Assess Readiness
Review this free guide, Is Your Board Ready for Self-Assessment.
2. Coordinate with MANP
The process can be customized to your timeline. Reach out to MANP to discuss what distribution method and timeframes will work best for your organization. MANP will invoice you prior to setting up the survey and payment will be due before the final report is provided.
- Member Price: $150
- Nonmember Price: $250
To coordinate a survey process, please contact Molly O’Connell at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that we are not currently offering this service to organizations based outside of Maine.
3. Gather Board Responses
Once launched, the online format means board members can quickly, easily, and confidentially provide input on how the board is performing their responsibilities.
4. Share + Discuss Results with Your Board
Once completed, you will receive results in an easy-to-read question-by-question graphical format that shows areas of disagreement to guide where you need to focus your attention in your work with the board. The report is a snapshot of results and not an interpretation; you will not receive recommendations.
Experience has shown that those organizations that get the maximum value from the board self-assessment process are those that actively engage their boards along the way. We encourage you to consider reviewing the results of the Board Self-Assessment Tool with your board in a retreat or extended meeting(s). Find more advice in the "Is Your Board Ready for Self-Assessment" guide above.
Organizations often find tremendous value in having a board governance consultant assist them in planning and facilitating such a meeting and in supporting the development of a “governance agenda” to guide the ongoing work of the board. Visit the MANP Business Finder to find consultants with expertise in board development working in your region.