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, Jeff Wahlstrom of Starboard Leadership Consulting, in partnership with MANP, developed an online board self-assessment tool that offers organizations an easy and practical way to assess their boards’ strengths and weaknesses.
First developed in 2005, the board self-assessment tool has since been updated with input from 25 nonprofit leaders. The tool includes 90+ questions across the following 10 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/should improve.
Steps to Self-Assessment
1. Assess Readiness
Review the free guide, Is Your Board Ready for Self-Assessment.
2. Complete Online Board Self-Assessment Tool
Purchase this tool and you will receive a link to this online tool allowing your board members to quickly, easily, and confidentially provide input on how the board is performing their responsibilities. The survey timeline can be customized to your organization, and you will received regular updates about participation rates so you can determine when to close the survye.
Once completed, you will receive results in an easy-to-read graphical format that shows areas of disagreement to guide where you need to focus your attention in your work with the board.
- Member Price: $150
- NonMember Price: $250
- To order, please contact Molly O’Connell at 207-871-1885.
3. Share + Discuss Results with Your Board
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).
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 MANP’s Yellow Pages to find consultants with expertise in board development working in your region.