SCORECARD: Assess Your Nonprofit Board’s Health


Jun 6, 2017

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Are you setting your nonprofit board of directors up for success? Use this quick board assessment tool to evaluate your board members’ engagement levels and get actionable advice on how to move their service to the next level.


 

Directions

Answer the questions below to create a scorecard for each board member. If your answer is “yes,” add the points below each question to the scorecard. If your answer is “no,” move on to the next question without adding points. Then, calculate the sum of the points and refer to the score analysis section to get practical board management recommendations.

In the past year, has your board member:

  • Exhibited an understanding of the organization’s mission, services, policies, and programs?
  • Add 5 points

  • Informed others about the organization and advocated on its behalf?
  • Add 5 points

  • Kept up-to-date on developments in the organization’s field?
  • Add 5 points

  • Attended all board and committee meetings?
  • Add 10 points

  • Reviewed agenda and supporting materials prior to board and committee meetings?
  • Add 10 points

  • Assisted the board in carrying out its fiduciary responsibilities, such as reviewing the organization’s financial statements?
  • Add 10 points

  • Adhered to conflict-of-interest and confidentiality policies?
  • Add 10 points

  • Served on committees or taskforces and offered to take on special assignments?
  • Add 15 points

  • Attended organization-led special events, such as fundraising dinners and galas?
  • Add 15 points

  • Made a personal financial contribution to the organization in alignment with their giving capacity?
  • Add 20 points

  • Suggested possible nominees to the board who can make significant contributions to the work of the board and the organization?
  • Add 20 points

Score Analysis

0-25 points
Your board member is doing the bare minimum, and it’s time to ask some difficult questions. Start by going back to the basics. Does the size of your board match the needs of your organization? How often is your board expected to meet? Do you provide board members with the tools they need to succeed, such as advance meeting schedules and agendas? If the answer to these questions is “yes,” and you can honestly say you are doing everything you can to set your board members up for success, it might be time to consider asking unengaged members to step down.

26-50 points
There is a lot of opportunity to maximize your board member’s impact on your organization and your community of service. Revisit your communications with board members, with a special focus on your recruitment and onboarding processes. Are you clearly communicating the responsibilities of service? How do you determine if prospective board members are a good fit? Do you have an orientation program for new board members? Assess the strength of essential board documents, including your board’s bylaws.

51-100 points
To fully engage your board member and continue to ensure the overall health of your board, set up one-on-one meetings with board members throughout the year to learn more about their interests and service expectations. Act as a coach and help your board members set personal fundraising goals that align with their giving capacity. Remember to express gratitude for your board member’s contributions and help them stretch and set new non-monetary goals, too, like assistance with recruiting new board members.

100-125 points
Congratulations! Your board members are highly engaged. If you see a specific area where a board member could contribute more, set up a lunch date or a phone call to develop an personalized plan. And keep up the great work!

Ready to take your board management skills to the next level? Download our free guide, “How To Build An Effective Board.”

GET THE GUIDE

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