Friday, September 25, 2009

Board Self-Assessment – Why Don’t We Do It?

In 2007, the West Central Iniative, Bremer and a private consultant initiated a training program called Board Leadership Academy in the Alexandria, Minn., area for the purpose of building stronger boards of directors and ultimately stronger, more effective organizations. Now in it’s third year, we have another sponsor, Tastefully Simple and we continue to build and refine the program based on what we learned from the previous year.

This year, we implemented a survey to identify areas of need based on the 12 Principles of Governance from Boardsource. The 10 organizations (including board members and staff) that will participate in the nine-month training were all asked to complete the survey. As we did our analysis of the survey, we found that many of the organizations needed help in the area of assessment and evaluation. Areas of concern had to to with evaluating board meetings and programs, effectiveness of board and committee structure, assessing board member’s satisfaction with his/her participation on the board, the effectiveness of the board’s work and evaluating the executive director.

Some of the benefits of doing Board Self-Assessments according to Boardsource are:

-Refresh the board’s understanding of roles and responsibilities
-Identify important areas of board operation that need attention/improvement
-Measure progress toward existing plans, goals and objectives
-Shape future operations of the board
-Define the criteria for an effective and successful board
-Build trust, respect and communication among board members and with chief executive
-Enable individual board members to work effectively as part of a team

If you would like resources related to Board Self-Assessment and Evaluation, contact your local Nonprofit Resource Specialist at Bremer Bank.

Posted by Holly Witt, NRS, Alexandria

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