Using Self-Assessments to Improve Board Performance and Build Nonprofit Capacity
Keywords:Governance, Self-Assessment, Nonprofit Capacity
This paper presents the nonprofit board self-assessment tool as a valuable, formative addition to the toolkit of nonprofit stakeholders, including evaluators, who are focused on improving both board and organizational performance. Using self-assessment data from a study of 156 nonprofits, the study tested five hypotheses about the effectiveness of five nonprofit governance best practices: strategic planning, reducing ambiguity on the board, board giving, strong internal controls, and evaluating the chief executive officer. The study finds that some nonprofit management best practices are more effective than others when it comes to assessing board performance. Moreover, consistent with previous research, board members and CEOs occasionally view performance differently. The paper concludes with a discussion about how nonprofit organizations, evaluators, and others can use these findings, as well as self-assessment tools, to improve nonprofit board governance and strengthen organizational capacity.
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