PMA Consulting, LLC

Evaluating Your Board & Its Members

Does your organization have the right people on its board? If not, a boardroom failure could be right around the corner. Consider the ideas below when evaluating members and see if you’re setting up for problems down the road.

The Major Donor

  • Individuals or families that have been the most generous often want influence over the governance of your organization.
  • While there might be a sense of entitlement to make important choices regarding the future of the organization, they may simply be lacking the experience or knowledge to make educated decisions.
  • A good solution? Allow them to lead a project within the organization they are passionate about. You keep them happy and also allow the other voices of the other board members to be heard.

Diversity

  • A board should reflect the demographics of the organization and the community it serves.
  • What’s the benefit? A variety of viewpoints, knowledge, and experiences. 
  • Age diversity on your broad creates a depth of knowledge of the organization for members, as well as “staying power.”
  • A diverse board gives your organization further influence on a wide variety of communities.

Experience

  • A board should have representation not only from diverse people, but with those of varying backgrounds as well.
  • Board members with experience in accounting, law, education, and government bring a variety of viewpoints to your organization – especially in assisting your staff on difficult decisions.

While there are many other factors that your organization should consider when nominating members to your board, it is important to keep these points in mind during your evaluation process. Developing a scorecard or survey of some sort can help you to determine the needs and priorities that are needed when filling vacant positions on your board.

For other ideas related to board development, check out our previous post, 7 Steps for Effective Board Development in 2011.


*PHOTO COURTESY OF IDEA GO