How Should a Nonprofit Board Evaluate the Executive Director?

May 10, 2018

Three faces, with a man standing behind them pointing to the middle, smiling faceThere are many ways to structure the evaluation of an executive director. Often the board delegates the job to a subcommittee of the board (e.g. executive team), although the whole board should have an opportunity for input. To begin the process, the board and executive director should agree on the timing and form of the evaluation prior to the start of the evaluation period. The evaluation should be based on predetermined criteria, including the executive’s job description and personal goals, as well as the organization’s goals. The executive usually completes a self-assessment. The board or committee reviews the executive, using the self-assessment. The results of the evaluation should be shared with the executive director and incorporated into plans for future growth.

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From the Standards for Excellence®: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector. The Standards for Excellence code, developed by the Standards for Excellence Institute, includes specific benchmarks and measures that provide a structured approach to building capacity, accountability, and sustainability in your nonprofit organization. The code identifies 6 major areas of nonprofit governance and management: Mission, Strategy, and Evaluation; Leadership: Board, Staff, and Volunteers; Legal Compliance and Ethics; Finance and Operations; Resource Development and Fundraising; and Public Awareness, Engagement and Advocacy.

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