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Tools for Executive Directors and Boards of Directors

Board of Directors Tools

Board Composition Matrix (PDF)
Is your board membership diversified? Are members actively involved? Use this helpful tool to get a snapshot of your board.

Board Development Pre-Assessment (PDF)
Would your board benefit from board training? Are some of the board members unsure of their role? Do some board members seem disengaged? This pre-assessment helps you assess your need for board development.

Board of Directors’ Assessment (PDF)
Start your new board year with reflection and clear direction.

Board Member’s Activity Report (PDF)
An excellent way for board members to be aware of their individual activity and engagement over the year. Can also be used as a kick-off to discussion with board chair.

Content for a Board Membership Manual (PDF)
A useful and important tool for nonprofit organizations is the board manual or handbook. Here are some guidelines on how to put one together.

Form for Prospective Board Candidates (PDF)
A questionnaire to help determine if prospective board members are a good fit for your organization.

Form to Evaluate an Individual Board Member (PDF)
How effective a board member are you? This individual self-evaluation will help you personally assess your board service.

Form to Evaluate Board Meetings (PDF)
A quick self-assessment to gauge the effectiveness of your board of director meetings.

How to Pick a Nonprofit Board to Serve On

NYC Good Governance Blueprint (PDF)

What You Need to Know BEFORE You Serve on a Board (PDF)
Serving as a board member can be one of the most important, challenging and rewarding experiences of your life. Board members have important legal and fiduciary responsibilities that require a commitment of time, skill and resources.

Individual Board Member’s Fund Development Plan (PDF)
A useful tool to help individual board members clarify their commitment to the organization and  develop their personal fundraising plan to support the mission.

Board Documents

Document Destruction and Retention Policy (PDF)
Document retention is a required practice for all corporations, including nonprofits. Adopting a policy for document retention and destruction ensures that you are in compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Sample—Code of Ethics for Board Members (PDF)
A Code of Ethics for board members helps define your organization’s principles and acceptable practices and provides guidance and direction for board conduct and decision making.

Sample—Conflict of Interest Policy (PDF)
A sample conflict of interest statement for board members.

Sample—Board Member Contract (PDF)
Understanding roles and responsibilities is an essential element of successful boards. This sample board member contract defines responsibilities from both organization and board member perspectives.

Tips for Developing Bylaws (PDF)
Bylaws are the internal rules and regulations that guide a board’s activity and answer important procedural questions.  They provide a roadmap for how the board operates.  In addition to having them reviewed from a legal perspective, bylaws should reflect how the board wants to conduct its affairs.  Equally important is that the board abides by its bylaws.  

Sample—Whistleblower Policy (PDF)
Enhance your organization’s public accountability and transparency while providing your employees with the necessary protections for blowing the whistle.


Annual Evaluation of the Executive Director (PDF)
An evaluation of the executive is an integral responsibility of an organization’s board of directors. The process by which boards fulfill this obligation varies. Here is a template that provides a sample executive evaluation.

Consent Agenda (PDF)
A useful tool for helping your board meetings run smoothly and efficiently.

Current Salary Survey (PDF)
Valuable information on salary ranges for many different positions in several cities in the Northeast area.

Emergency Succession Plan (PDF)
What would happen if your organization was faced with the unexpected and sudden departure of your executive director? Adopting an Emergency Succession Plan can help you ensure that essential functions continue uninterrupted by outlining a plan for the appointment of an acting executive director.

Exit Interview for Employees (PDF)
When an employee leaves an organization, an exit interview is a helpful tool.

Sample—Executive Director Contract (PDF)
A contract can help lay the groundwork for a successful relationship between your board and new executive director.

Sample—Social Media Tactical Plan (PDF)
A plan that includes tactical objectives used to accomplish social media goals.

Tips for Constructing an Elevator Pitch (PDF)
Learn how to engage people about your organization in a limited amount of time and leave them wanting to know more. 



For further information, please contact:

Center for Nonprofit Leadership
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