One of the main responsibilities of a nonprofit board of directors is to hire and evaluate the Executive Director/CEO.


1. Board members must reach consensus on the Executive Director/CEO’s responsibilities.

2. Board member should ensure that that the Executive Director/CEO has the moral and professional support they need to further the goals of the organization.

3. Should a new Executive Director/CEO be necessary, the board must undertake a careful search to find the most qualified individual for the position.


Boards must also develop an annual evaluation process to ensure the board provides the chief executive with formal feedback regarding on-the-job performance.

At Art from Ashes, we utilize a system of evaluation called the FeedForward. Here is a brief introduction to the process before you begin. The reasons to use FeedForward as an evaluation tool are further elucidated in the attached document (download information here).

Quality communication — between and among people at all levels and every department and division — is the glue that holds organizations together. By using feedforward — and by encouraging others to use it — leaders can dramatically improve the quality of communication in their organizations, ensuring that the right message is conveyed and that those who receive it are receptive to its content. The result is a much more dynamic, much more open organization — one whose employees focus on the promise of the future rather than dwelling on the mistakes of the past.

10 Reasons to Use FeedForward

  1. We can change the future. We can’t change the past. Feedforward helps people envision and focus on a positive future, not a failed past.
  2. It can be more productive to help people be “right,” than prove they were “wrong.” Negative feedback often becomes an exercise in “let me prove you were wrong.” Feedforward, on the other hand, is almost always seen as positive because it focuses on solutions — not problems.
  3. Feedforward is especially suited to successful people. Successful people like getting ideas that are aimed at helping them achieve their goals. They tend to resist negative judgment. We all tend to accept feedback that is consistent with the way we see ourselves. We also tend to reject or deny feedback that is inconsistent with the way we see ourselves.
  4. Feedforward can come from anyone who knows about the task. It does not require personal experience with the individual. Feedforward just requires having good ideas for achieving the task.
  5. People do not take feedforward as personally as feedback. Successful people’s sense of identity is highly connected with their work. It is hard to give a dedicated professional feedback that is not taken personally. Feedforward cannot involve a personal critique since it is discussing something that has not yet happened!
  6. Feedback can reinforce personal stereotyping and negative self-fulfilling prophecies. Feedforward can reinforce the possibility of change. Feedforward is based on the assumption that the receiver of suggestions can make positive changes in the future.
  7. Leaders are not very good at giving or receiving negative feedback. It is unlikely that this will change in the near future. Feedforward can cover almost all of the same “material” as feedback. These suggestions can be very specific and still delivered in a positive way.
  8. Feedforward tends to be much faster and more efficient than feedback. Almost no time gets wasted on judging the quality of the ideas or “proving that the ideas are wrong.” By eliminating judgment of the ideas, the process becomes much more positive for the sender, as well as the receiver. Successful people tend to have a high need for self-determination and will tend to accept ideas that they “buy,” while rejecting ideas that feel “forced” upon them.
  9. Rightly or wrongly, feedback is associated with judgment. This can lead to very negative — or even career-limiting — unintended consequences when applied to managers or peers. Feedforward does not imply superiority of judgment. It is more focused on being a helpful “fellow traveler” than an “expert.”
  10. People tend to listen more attentively to feedforward than feedback. In feedforward, the only reply the receiver is allowed to make is ‘thank you.’ Therefore they can focus more energy on listening.

When you begin to fill out the FeedForward form, please read the section designed to instruct the employee on how to assess their FeedForward, as it will help you understand the purpose of the suggestions.

After the suggestions have been compiled, the employee is asked to fill out the bottom part of the form, taking into account the information gathered from the Board of Directors.

Thank you for taking the time to support Art from Ashes!

 FeedForward Article PDF to download

To be completed by board member

Please read the FeedForward document for how to fill out the following form. The idea is to ensure that we are not looking back and critiquing performance so much as suggesting ways to improve performance. Please focus on good ideas for achieving the tasks, as stated in the article. The lines are deliberately short in order to avoid overthinking or criticizing.

After completing the form, the board will discuss the compiled findings and review the Executive Director\’s input to determine how best to achieve future goals.

Think about the following as suggestions for the future. Try not to critique suggestions or to think about the past.

This page is a description of how your board members typically see individuals with your style. Use the information to develop an overall picture of your style. In evaluating specific sentences, consider your conscious ability to adapt behavior. In other words, while the text describes the typical behavior for individuals with your style, you certainly can modify your behavior to fit the needs of a particular situation or individual(s).

Also, you may have already addressed the development areas by learning new skills. If you find a statement that you believe does not accurately describe you, ask others for their comments and suggestions before you dismiss it. This may be a great opportunity for you to further improve your performance. Out of the following assessment, pick behaviors that you would like to change. Change in this behavior should make a significant, positive difference in your life. You may want to get some input from others (peers, supervisor, executive coach, etc.) when selecting these behaviors.

Consider your self-identified strengths in the following assessment. How are you using them in your current position? Should you adjust your style to improve your performance? If yes, how? Are there statements that you do not think describe you? Is this something you have learned to do or to avoid? Ask youself: why do I not see this in my behavior? What about others? Can they see it in my behavior, also? Is there consensus?

The suggestions below are for situations in these specific areas where you have to leave your comfort area and adjust your style.

Job Duties
Minimum Professional Requirements
Accomplishments and Goals