Many nonprofit boards are facing performance issues. Some boards are under legal scrutiny and have to improve. Others want to increase their value to donors or the community. Some boards have to tackle specific board governance issues. It is recommended for every board, regardless of the pressures, to carry out some form of evaluation. A performance evaluation can seem intimidating, especially if it is a brand new process for the board. The proper tools and guidance can assist any board to overcome challenges and succeed.
The first step is to comprehend the issue. Most often, the board is viewed as an authority to approve management decisions or becomes involved in operational decisions that should be left to the CEO and the management team. In addition, the board could be unsure of its legal obligations and how to protect itself from them.
In such instances the board must clearly define its role and define it and make sure that it is clear how it communicates with the board and management. The board should also ensure that it has the right structures in place to fulfill its duties. This could be through committees and officer posts that are responsible for collecting and analyzing data on the performance of the board. It is also important to follow up on any agreed actions that result from an evaluation. Otherwise, the momentum that was created during the process of evaluation can fade away.