• The organization is well managed: it has a clear mission, policy, and goals under the leadership of a capable, engaged Board of directors.
  • The organization has a positive profile in the community as a result of effective, well-managed programs.

Indicators of Good Governance

  • The Board of directors is actively engaged in its oversight role and knowledgeable about key issues that might affect the organization’s success.
  • The Board focuses on policy development, strategic direction, and evaluation of the organization. It respects the staff’s responsibility to implement policy directives.
  • The Board’s effectiveness is apparent in suitable programs, well-managed operations, ample funding, and organizational sustainability and longevity.
  • The Board has established clear leadership roles to capably drive its activities and fosters the development of new leaders to fill future roles as needed.
  • The Board understands its fiduciary and legal responsibilities and actively manages the organization’s risk exposure.
  • The Board understands the restrictions, if any, on the organization’s grants and contracts.

Questions for the Board to Ask

Is the board playing an appropriate role for the current stage of the organization’s life cycle?
The delineation between governance and operational roles is clear. [Note: Beyond the start-up phase of the organizational cycle, the Board is not involved in day-to-day operations.]

Does the Board evaluate itself?
The board regularly appraises its own performance.

Does the Board evaluate the performance of the chief executive?  Is this evaluation based on goals previously agreed upon by the Board and the chief executive (e.g. staff retention, fundraising goals, overall organizational performance)?
The Board regularly assesses the performance of the chief executive.  (Note: Organizations that perform executive evaluation sporadically should be encouraged to do it regularly.)

How does the Board set the chief executive’s compensation?
The Board sets the chief executive’s compensation at a “market” level, based on research of current data and the performance evaluation.

Has the Board worked with the chief executive on succession plans for key staff and Board?
A succession plan is in place or under discussion for board leadership roles, the Chief Executive, and (where relevant) key staff members.  Board recruitment is strategically conducted by the Governance Committee, with succession planned for officer positions.  An emergency succession plan exists in the event of an unexpected departure of the Chief Executive.