Checklist to Evaluate a Nonprofit Board of Directors

Sections of this topic

    Checklist to Evaluate a Nonprofit
    Board of Directors

    (certain sections of the following
    may be specific to the U.S.)

    Edited by Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD

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    Rating
    *
    Indicator Met Needs
    Work
    N/A

    E

    1. The roles of the Board and the Executive Director
    are defined and respected, with the Executive Director delegated
    as the manager of the organization’s operations and the board
    focused on policy and planning

    R

    2. The Executive Director is recruited, selected,
    and employed by the Board of Directors. The board provide clearly
    written expectations and qualifications for the position, as
    well as reasonable compensation.

    R

    3. The Board of Directors acts a governing trustees
    of the organization on behalf of the community at large and contributors
    while carrying out the organization’s mission and goals. To fully
    meet this goal, the Board of Directors must actively participate
    in the planning process as outlined in planning sections of this
    checklist.

    R

    4. The board’s nominating process ensures that
    the board remains appropriately diverse with respect to gender,
    ethnicity, culture, economic status, disabilities, and skills
    and/or expertise.

    E

    5. The board members receive regular training
    and information about their responsibilities.

    E

    6. New board members are oriented to the organization,
    including the organization’s mission, bylaws, policies, and programs,
    as well as their roles and responsibilities as board members.

    A

    7. Board organization is documented with a description
    of the board and board committee responsibilities.

    A

    8. Each board has a board operations manual.

    E

    9. If the organization has any related party
    transactions between board members or their family, they are
    disclosed to the board of directors, the Internal Revenue Service
    and the auditor.

    E

    10. The organization has at least the minimum
    number of members on the Board of Directors as required by their
    bylaws or state statute.

    R

    11. If the organization has adopted bylaws, they
    conform to state statute and have been reviewed by legal counsel.

    R

    12. The bylaws should include: a) how and when
    notices for board meetings are made; b) how members are elected/appointed
    by the board; c) what the terms of office are for officers/members;
    d) how board members are rotated; e) how ineffective board members
    are removed from the board; f) a stated number of board members
    to make up a quorum which is required for all policy decisions.

    R

    13. The board of directors reviews the bylaws.

    A

    14. The board has a process for handling urgent
    matters between meetings.

    E

    15. Board members serve without payment unless
    the agency has a policy identifying reimbursable out-of-pocket
    expenses.

    R

    16. The organization maintains a conflict-of-interest
    policy and all board members and executive staff review and/or
    sign to acknowledge and comply with the policy.

    R

    17. The board has an annual calendar of meetings.
    The board also has an attendance policy such that a quorum of
    the organization’s board meets at least quarterly.

    A

    18. Meetings have written agendas and materials
    relating to significant decisions are given to the board in advance
    of the meeting.

    A

    19. The board has a written policy prohibiting
    employees and members of employees’ immediate families from serving
    as board chair or treasurer.
    Indicators ratings: E=essential; R=recommended;
    A=additional to strengthen organizational activities

    This information may be copied. Please cite credit to the
    Greater Twin Cities United Way.


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