The Bender Method
“The most important element in agency (organizational) structure is the membership and activity of its board of directors. No other aspect of a voluntary agency is a more certain indicator of the state of its health or more crucial to that health. If one were limited to a single question on the status of an agency, it would be well to ask for attendance by name of members at meetings of the board and executive committee held during the last three years. If the answer shows the average to be less than the indicated 50% of the four meetings per year (or how ever often your board meets), and if those attending are always the same members, then one may be sure that something is wrong with the agency." ~ Lippincott and Hannestad, “Management of Voluntary Agencies,” Harvard Business Review
The Alliance for Better Nonprofits strives to find trainers and consultants who are passionate about nonprofits, and Jack Bender is a prime example of someone who truly cares about his work. Jack Bender retired from the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in 2006 after 37 years of service. His experience in various cities and on local and national association levels gave him the insight to develop what’s been coined as “The Bender Method” to board evaluation.
Through The Bender Method, existing board members are to be evaluated with eight major factors by an established board assessment team. This process asks that each board member is ranked by the criteria and allows for the overall board to be assessed for both strengths and weaknesses in board make-up. The results allow the board to make strategic decisions, aligned with a strategic plan, for board recruitment.
Jack Bender will be presenting his method on September 20, 2016 at the Alliance for Better Nonprofits in a training entitled "Develop a Dynamic Board: Assess, Nominate and Recruit." Jack is also available for consulting projects through ABN.
Elle Benson is the Director of Capacity Building for ABN. She is originally from Denver, Colorado and came to Tennessee via UT Knoxville where she graduated from the College of Business. She recently completed her MBA in Leadership at Tiffin University. Before joining ABN, Benson served as Marketing Supervisor for LBMC, PC and was the Director of Operations for the YWCA Knoxville. She is the past President of Young Professionals of Knoxville (YPK) and served as the Curriculum Chair for the Inaugural YPK Leadership Certificate program. Benson serves on the board for the Friends of Literacy, Knoxville Marketing Association and the United Way Young Leaders Society.