Should you have performance reviews for your board members?

Photo by chrisjohnbeckett

Incorporating performance reviews for board members into your governance process can help ensure that you have an effective and successful board of directors for your organization. But they are just volunteers right? Well, yes, but volunteers and board member should be reviewed. Evaluating your nonprofit board is particularly important because they can have such an enormous impact on your organization.

So, the Executive Director reviews staff, the Board reviews the Executive Director…who reviews the Board? Well, itself. Boards need to be accountable and have self-evaluations.

Some recommend that you do mid-term and annual reviews, I think that as long as you do a review annually you will be set. Just remember that the goal of a review isn’t to tell a board member that they are doing a bad job- it’s to help build team work, increase communication and to ensure the board is doing what it set out to do. It also gives members a meaningful measure of accountability and will provide a guideline for effective board performance.

This PowerPoint presentation does a great job going over evaluating board members, why it is important and how to go about it.

Now that you have decided to incorporate board member evaluations, here are a few resources to help you:

  • Here is a self-evaluation that can be used by both board members and the Executive Director to gain an understanding of how well the board is doing.
  • Here and here are self-evaluations for individual board members about their own performance.
  • Here is a checklist for evaluating board. It includes indicators for what is needed to have a healthy, well-managed organization.
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