In this episode of The Strategic Nonprofit Podcast, Tom is joined by Brenda Southam, the Executive Director of Realestate Institute of British Columbia (REIBC), to discuss what good NPO governance looks like. Brenda is not only the ED of REIBC; she also delivers governance training and facilitates strategic planning sessions for us at AMC NPO Solutions.

Also read:

Processing New Board Members|Good NPO Governance

Board manuals should be given to every board member at their first meeting and then need to be tasked with understanding and absorbing all policies and previous minutes; all new members must understand what’s going on. An employee’s first year on the board will always be challenging, so it allows them to contact other board members if they need more clarification about what’s going on and what’s happening.

Evaluating Your Board & Members |Good NPO Governance

In a Board Evaluation, you aim to evaluate what’s happening on the board agenda and what shouldn’t be. As Brenda explains, “We talk about if everyone was involved. Was everyone talking around the table? Or was it just being run by two people?”. It’s all about ensuring your mission, vision, and employees are aligned while also providing other crucial aspects are met. Considerations such as, “Did we keep things in line with our membership?” and “Are we making sure that we’re talking to all of the different groups that we have?”

So that’s an overall board assessment, but each board member does it. So each board member answers the questionnaire. How are we doing as a board? And then, employees have a self-assessment; however, these remain private to the employee.

A Self-Assessment, however, is up to the employee to complete. Although, you should aim to encourage a twice-yearly reminder to ask, “Have you looked at your self-assessment lately? Just making sure you’re taking a look at it and seeing how you’re doing.”

Need a template to evaluate the performance of your board?

Download your FREE Board Performance Evaluation form

The Complementary Model of Board Governance

For years, there were only two distinct governance models for the not for profit community—either the Traditional Model or the Carver Model. However, Ten principles underline the Complementary Model. Some of them are unique to the Model; others are common to the Carver and Traditional governance models. Nonetheless, in combination, the ten create a governance and management environment that many not for profits will find highly effective, successful, and rewarding.

Download your FREE guide to the 10 Principles of The Complementary Model of Board Governance

Apple Podcasts Badge
Spotify Podcast Badge
About Tom (TJ) Abbott

Tom (TJ) Abbott, CSP is the Managing Director of AMC NPO Solutions and an authority on Governance. He has over 25 years experience as CEO, President and board director of several not-for-profit organizations. Tom has also spoken in over 20 countries.


Principles of Complementary Governance Booklet

10 Principles of Complementary Governance