Praising Your Nonprofit Executive

Okay, so it may not always be praise, but the reality is that Executive staff of Nonprofit Organizations deserve and need the same type of feedback and formal performance appraisals that you see in most for-profit organizations.

It is the responsibility of the Board of Directors to ensure that the performance of organizational leadership is monitored and feedback given on a consistent basis. The notion that nonprofit work is “feel good” work is not enough for organizations that want truly exceptional leaders and of course not good enough for leaders that want to be exceptional at what they do.

At a minimum, organizational leadership should receive at least an annual review. Ideally the leadership should be given a quarterly appraisal so that there are no “surprises” when the annual review is given. Quarterly reviews also make the process for the annual review much easier considering you will have documentation leading up to the annual appraisal.

Who should be involved in the appraisal process?

The Executive Committee of your Board of Directors should be the ones who own and manage this process. The actual appraisal should be presented to the organizational Executive Director/CEO by the Board Chairperson/Board President. I suggest that you also have the Executive Director/CEO complete and submit to the Executive Committee a self appraisal utilizing the same appraisal document. The self appraisal will assist the Executive Committee in understanding how the Executive Director/CEO see’s their own performance and it serves as a reminder to the Executive Committee about specific accomplishments made throughout the year.

We all need and want feedback to ensure that we are meeting the needs and expectations of the organizations that we serve. The time spent doing so will make your leadership and organization better for the communities in which you serve.