For busy nonprofit business leaders and board members, a seemingly endless stream of reports, meetings, emails, phone calls and text messages can create a strain on their time, limiting their ability to focus on critical business information and interactions.
This begs the question: “What can be done to make every interaction between the board and senior management as meaningful as possible?”
One way is to create and employ a “performance dashboard.” Performance dashboards enable your organization to quickly identify and communicate important activities and actions that the board and senior management need to discuss, assess and, if necessary, act upon.
Applying our years of experience advising nonprofit organizations, we’ve developed a 6 step process for developing and implementing a performance dashboard. Those 6 steps are as follows…
- Identify who should be involved
- Identify what’s most important to measure and how best to do it
- Identify the most important measures that can be reported on in the short term and, where practical, benchmark performance, and assess the possibility of expanding and enhancing reporting in the longer term
- Determine how best to present the data
- Obtain full board approval
- Periodically revisit Steps 1-5
At this year’s BoardSource Leadership Forum in New Orleans, Amish Mehta, Partner in Charge of the Not-for-Profit Practice, and Peter Manzetti, Director of Governance, Risk and Compliance Services, hosted a session titled, “Using a Performance Dashboard to Engage and Inform Your Board.” The session presented a case study involving the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern New Jersey, demonstrating how the nonprofit enhanced its reporting by developing a performance dashboard.
To read the full case study and white paper on the 6 step process, click here.