Board Evaluation for Charities and Not-for-profits
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Interview-Based External Board Effectiveness Reviews
Our external board effectiveness reviews based on interviews recognise the particular governance challenges facing not-for-profits. We produce board effectiveness reports with suggestions tailored particularly to the boards of charities.
Trustee boards are under increasing pressure to exercise clear oversight over areas such as safeguarding and employee behaviour – all while meeting potential funding shortfalls.
Interviews with trustees and executives cover the role of the Board with a strong focus on how you debate and take decisions on strategy, funding, stakeholder management and financial controls.
But we also look at the factors that help the Board to exercise its responsibilities, including composition, dynamics and meeting arrangements. For not-for-profits (and especially for membership organisations) we particularly consider the role and operation of stakeholder councils.
By reviewing board papers, we’re able to see how information is communicated to the Board. And we observe board and committee meetings to see how they work in action.
A board review isn’t a compliance exercise but we look at you in your regulatory context. For the trustee boards of charities, for example, we take fully into account the seven Principles in the Charity Governance Code.
We provide clear reports, practical suggestions and help you to plan the Board’s development.
Questionnaire-based Externally-facilitated Board Evaluations
Alternatively, you can use a questionnaire to undertake your externally-facilitated board effectiveness review. Our approach helps you get value from questionnaire results
Thinking Board®, our online tool, provides you with engaging questions tailored specifically to the not-for-profit and charities sector. We help you customise the questionnaire – if needed – to your own specific circumstances.
You’ll receive a clear report, drawing out suggestions based on what works well elsewhere. And we’ll lead a discussion on the findings and possible actions for the whole Board.
For a more thorough review, you can also include board observation and a review of the board papers as part of a questionnaire-based evaluation.
Self-assessment Questionnaire Software
You can use our board self-assessment questionnaire software for your internal board reviews. It is easy to use, and respondents can respond to questionnaires online.
Our questionnaires are designed to work for not-for-profits. The questions get quickly to the heart of governance issues and they’re engaging to fill in. Structured to help you identify areas for improvement and root causes, you can tailor them to your needs.
Automated reporting allows you to draw out the emerging themes, identifying any divergence of opinions, such as between trustees and executives.
Simply export the charts to Word to build a board paper which gives trustees the reporting they need to have a good debate about how to make the Board better.
Our Credentials Among Not-for-profits
We have an established reputation for board evaluations in the third sector.
We have reviewed the boards of Cancer Research UK, Macmillan, The Prince’s Trust and the National Trust for Scotland.
We have worked with housing associations such as Aldwyck and Severn Vale and membership organisations including Oil and Gas UK.
We also work with regulators and public sector organisations such as the Financial Conduct Authority, Ordnance Survey, the Pension Protection Fund and the Financial Ombudsman.