National Governance Survey Results

Wednesday, June 30, 2010



In February 2010, The Centre on Philanthropy commissioned local nonprofit consultant, Elizabeth Walker Sobhani to undertake a research study with Bermuda’s charities.  The goal for this Board Governance Research project was to better understand local trends and dynamics related to Board Governance. 

Eighty-six registered charities responded to the survey, and represented a wide cross section of Bermuda’s nonprofit community.  The results provide robust data on the level of governance in the sector.  Some of the findings demonstrated that many charities have effective Board practices:
• 70% have a formal legal structures
• 91% hold regular Board meetings
• 2 in 3 respondents feel they have clear charters for Board committees.

The results also provide information on what gaps exist, thus providing The Centre with direction for future training programmes.
• 40% of Board Chairs and Executive Directors are new, having been in the position for 2 years or less
• 1 in 2 Boards have not conducted a performance review of their top staff member in the last 12 months.
• Only 25% of respondents felt that their Boards were ‘very effective’.

The full findings of the research study were presented at a special town hall meeting on June 28.  The results presentation is available here.

Danielle Riviere, Programme Manager for The Centre on Philanthropy explained, “Our goals for this research study were to raise the level of awareness on the importance of nonprofit governance and to gain insight on the current state of Bermuda’s nonprofit sector.  Effective Boards ensure that charities are held accountable, are meeting the community’s needs, and are sustainable.”  

“Now that we better understand how Boards are currently operating - where they succeed and struggle - we can address key areas through training and education, and thus improve governance in the sector.”