As many nonprofits year end approaches, Boards of Directors should have procedures in place to carry out a year-end evaluation of their Executive Director. Board members are ultimately responsible for the management of the affairs of the organization which includes appropriate oversight of the Executive Director. There should be an annual discussion between the full Board about the Executive Director’s performance. The evaluation should focus on the goals of the organization, specifically those expressed in the strategic plan and annual work plan.

A simple evaluation form should be set up at the start of the year and discussed with the Executive Director to outline expectations. The tool should consider the Executive Directors roles in regards to the following areas, but not limited to:

  • Relations with the Board of Directors
  • Employee/Personnel Administration
  • Leadership
  • Operations/Oversight of Programs
  • Relations with constituents/donors
  • Fiscal management
  • Outreach

Annually the Board should decide on a process to ensure all board members are involved in providing feedback. Most organizations use an anonymous method to gather feedback on the criteria, organize the results and hold an executive session at a board meeting to discuss and provide context for the results. The results are best shared in a face to face meeting with your Executive Director to encourage a two way dialogue on each point and help refine the next year’s evaluation criteria.

Samples are available to help prepare evaluations

If you have any questions about how your organization can improve its evaluation process, please contact Gerard DeBlois or Jessica Yoder.