Nonprofit Board Assessment Tool
Download copy of tip sheet

Overview

Board self-assessment is a best practice of successful nonprofit Boards of Directors. NAO has adopted the Independent Sector’s Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice, which promotes best practices for our sector. Principle #16 states, “Board members should evaluate their performance as a group and as individuals no less frequently than every three years, and should have clear procedures for removing board members who are unable to fulfill their responsibilities.” NAO recommends Boards complete self-assessments annually, if Board engagement or attendance is lagging, or if the Board has become distracted from their basic roles and responsibilities.

Assessment tools can be simple and quick, yet powerful. Here are two FREE NAO assessments that each take less than ten minutes to complete:

  • Board Assessment assesses the functioning of the Board as a whole. It is anonymous, and can be completed, tallied, and the results reviewed in one Board meeting.
    Download: PDF / Word Document
  • Board Member Self-Assessment also anonymous, gives Board members the opportunity to reflect on their own performance and experiences serving on the Board. If Board members are comfortable sharing, the answers to questions seven through nine can help the Executive, Nominating, or Governance Committee identify strategies to improve Board member effectiveness and satisfaction.
    Download: PDF / Word Document

A few tips on Board assessment

  • Many Board assessment tools are available online. Find an assessment tool that fits your organization. Reflect on what talents and assets are important to support your organization and increase diversity, and choose a tool that supports your goals.
  • Include a Board member self-assessment/evaluation in addition to an overall Board assessment to support leadership development.
  • Use the assessment to inform a plan to build Board capacity and recruitment.
  • Ask Board members what they enjoy and excel at and match their duties to those traits.
  • Regularly acknowledge the contributions of Board members to the work of the Board and celebrate successes!

Additional FREE tools and resources

And don’t forget, nonprofit Boards have legal responsibilities! Use the free handy tool, A Guide to Nonprofit Board Service in Oregon from the Oregon Department of Justice to orient your Board members to their legal responsibilities.

Still need help?

Contact the Nonprofit Association of Oregon’s Helpline at helpline@nonprofitoregon.org for more tips, tools and resources.