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Module 4: Association Personnel – The Executive Director. Presented by the Southern Early Childhood Association. Topics to be Presented…. Employment contracts for the Executive Accountability of the Executive Director Assessment of the Executive Director

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module 4 association personnel the executive director

Module 4: Association Personnel – The Executive Director

Presented by the

Southern Early Childhood Association

topics to be presented
Topics to be Presented…
  • Employment contracts for the Executive
  • Accountability of the Executive Director
  • Assessment of the Executive Director
  • Relationship between the Board of Directors and the Executive Director
the executive director is
The Executive Director is…

…the person in a nonprofit corporation

ordinarily responsible for management of the

day-to-day affairs of the nonprofit corporation

and responsible for the implementation of

policies set by the Board of Directors.


How does your organization choose or hire its Executive Director?

What are the specific job responsibilities of your association’s Executive Director position?

why is it beneficial to have an employment contract for the executive director
Why is it beneficial to have an employment contract for the Executive Director?
  • Serves as a quality control mechanism
  • Simplifies performance evaluations
  • Minimizes misunderstandings between the Director and association officers
  • Shows a commitment to professionalism
  • Help associations retain qualified executives
executive director contracts include
Names of contracting parties

Statement of mutual agreement

Type of association

Title of position

Term of agreement

Duties of the Executive

Boundaries of authority


Termination procedure

Impact of mergers


Renewal provision


Arbitration procedure

Control of association materials

State laws

Signatures and dates of signing

Executive Director contracts include…

Does your association have a written employment contract with its Executive Director? If so, what stipulations are included in this contract?

If your association does not maintain such a contract, draft a sample one now based on the criteria discussed in this presentation.

other compensation options for small associations
Other Compensation Options for Small Associations
  • Bonuses
  • Deferred compensation
  • Pension plans
  • Life and disability insurance
  • Continuing education benefits
  • Professional association memberships
  • In most associations, the Executive is the only staff person directly accountable to the Board of Directors.
  • Chain of command:

Board of Directors > Board Chair > Executive

  • Importance of open communication

What does the chain of command for your association look like? Draw it as a diagram, and clearly indicate the lines of accountability in your organization.

assessment of the executive director
Assessment of the Executive Director
  • Primary responsibility of the Board of Directors
  • Board sets the standards by which the Executive is evaluated
  • Assessment should give Board the ability to recognize management problems early in their course, and initiate corrective action

What is the evaluation process for your association’s assessment of its Executive Director? Who performs the evaluation, on what standards is it based, and how is the information presented to both the Executive and the Board after the evaluation?

benefits of evaluating the executive director
1. Clarifies responsibilities

2. Ensures Board compliance

3. Ensures organizational goals are being met

4. Continues professional development for the Executive

5. Ensures a formal and documented evaluation process

6. Encourages stability in the Executive position

7. Provides written record of Executive performance

8. Assists in developing Executive priorities

9. Provides opportunity for the Board to express their satisfaction!

Benefits of Evaluating the Executive Director
tips for conducting evaluations
Tips for Conducting Evaluations
  • Conduct the evaluation regularly
  • Fully document the evaluation process and its results
  • Clearly specify the staff’s role in the evaluation
  • Utilize more than one assessor
  • Employ clear standards for evaluation, and avoid personal attacks
steps for developing an assessment system
Steps for Developing an Assessment System
  • Establish criteria for performance appraisal.
  • Design an appraisal form that reflects the performance categories to be assessed.
  • Break each main category into specific tasks on which the Executive can be rated.
  • Determine who will make the assessment.
  • Determine how the assessment forms will be compiled into a report for the Board.
  • Determine how the assessment outcomes will be reported to the Executive.
your evaluation system should answer three questions about your executive
Your evaluation system should answer three questions about your Executive:
  • What are the special strengths that this person has demonstrated in this position?
  • What are the areas for which improvement is indicated?
  • What are the kinds of management and/or organizational development activities that should be carried out in the future?
categories of executive competency
Categories of Executive Competency
  • Basics in management and leadership
  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Leading
  • Coordinating Activities and Resources
the role of the executive director in their own evaluation
The Role of the Executive Director in their own Evaluation
  • Initiate definition of the activities to be assessed
  • Build on the Executive’s existing system
  • Use self-ratings in the overall assessment
  • Include reports and external indicators
  • Contract with an outside firm

Based on all of the standards and criteria just presented, how would you revise your assessment procedures to provide a more thorough and helpful evaluation of the Executive Director for your association?

how can the executive manage their relationship with the board
How Can the Executive Manage Their Relationship with the Board?

Three methods the Executive can use to help the Board govern MORE and manage LESS:

  • Use a comprehensive strategic plan that has been developed in conjunction with the Board
  • Provide the Board with appropriate and sufficient material prior to Board meetings
  • Facilitate Board and Board committee discussions to improve focus

Does your organization function in the manner which is most effective at allowing your Board of Directors to govern and your Executive Director to manage? What could be done to improve this relationship for the future?

one final management option association management firms
One Final Management Option:Association Management Firms
  • Executive “sharing” among associations
  • Economical for smaller associations
  • Be careful to avoid conflicts of interest among the firm’s clients and protect the confidentiality of own association’s financial records
resources consulted for this presentation
Resources consulted for this presentation:
  • Jerald Jacobs. Association Law Handbook. 3rd Edition. Washington, DC: American Society of Association Executives, 1996.
  • The Nonprofit Board Book: Strategies for Organizational Success. Revised edition. Arkansas: Independent Community Consultants, 1985.
  • Carter McNamara. Field Guide to Developing and Operating Your Nonprofit Board of Directors. Minneapolis, MN: Authenticity Consulting, 2000.
  • 2005
  • Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. 2006