Performance Measures Your Board Should Consider

Advice on board performance measures, based on ASAE Foundation research.

Advice on board performance measures, based on ASAE Foundation research.

In the ASAE Foundation research, CEOs were asked to give their board a numerical rating on each of the following 20 measures. The rankings were 1 for “needs improvement,” 2 for “satisfactory,” and 3 for “excellent.” Board performance rankings were based on the sum of all ratings.


  • Overall quality of board relations with staff
  • Overall quality of relations among board members
  • Stewardship over the organization’s resources
  • Willingness of the board to take responsibility for difficult decisions
  • Ability to make decisions based on organizational interests and not self-interest
  • Collegiality of the board atmosphere
  • Leading the organization in a way that maintains the public trust in nonprofits

Member Relations

  • Overall quality of board relations with the membership
  • Accountability to members
  • Direct outreach and engagement of membership

Strategic Performance

  • Effectiveness at strategic rather than operational thinking
  • Board participation in advocacy, public policy
  • Effectiveness at aligning the organization’s resources with strategic needs
  • Ability to serve as a catalyst for change
  • Understanding of the organization’s external environment and trends
  • Ability to achieve strategic plan

Internal Accountability

  • Board’s ability to set performance standards for itself
  • Board’s record of enforcing self-imposed performance standards
  • Securing feedback on its own performance from key constituencies

Chapter Relations

  • Overall quality of board-chapter relations (if applicable)

(Andy Roberts/Glow Images)

Beth Gazley

By Beth Gazley

Beth Gazley, Ph.D., is associate professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. Previously, she was a fundraising professional and management consultant for public interest, health, and higher education institutions. MORE

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