Help Us Help You

Findings from the 2022 NBOA annual membership survey are in. And your voice is needed once again to make NBOA work for you.

Jun 6, 2023  |  By Jeff Shields, FASAE, CAE

Jeffrey Shields, FASAE, CAE
NBOA President and CEO

As your school year calendars are wrapping up — or have already wrapped — the NBOA Board of Directors met for its final meeting of the fiscal year last week. We were immersed in discussions regarding the current and future economic climate, in addition to the association’s long-range financial plan. We have adapted the NBOA long-range financial model, which was originally developed for our member schools, to determine strategic priorities in the years ahead. It has been a full year since the Board approved the association’s strategic framework, and I’m proud to report we’ve already made progress in many areas including the delivery of more robust data reporting tools in BIIS, the financial sustainability heat map, and the development the association’s new brand to launch us into our next quarter century. However, as will be no surprise to anyone sitting on a senior leadership team, there is always more to do.

Last year, we launched our first NBOA annual member survey to help us measure our progress, or said another way, to help us measure how we are helping you, in fulfilling our new strategic framework. The survey results help us develop a deeper understanding of how well we are meeting our objectives in fostering an engaged, informed and diverse membership and how effectively we are serving you and your schools. We received more than 500 responses to the member survey in June 2022, with a full representation of NBOA’s membership in terms of membership type, school type, region and the full spectrum of our primary members roles including business officers, human resource professionals, controllers, and other business office and accounting staff positions. Thank you sincerely for taking the time to share your opinions, by doing so, you make us better!

We were pleased to learn that most respondents (90%) agreed that NBOA effectively serves “professionals like me” and that 94% of chief business officers felt effectively served by NBOA. Most respondents (89%) agreed that NBOA tools and resources increase the operational efficiency and effectiveness of their institution, and 80% were satisfied with their level of engagement with NBOA. Some respondents expressed gratitude for experiences like Annual Meeting and Business Officer Institute for contributing to their success in their role, while others cited a lack of time to fully engage with NBOA or take advantage of more of our offerings.

The survey results uncovered opportunities for NBOA to enhance our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and make current efforts more visible. Most respondents (82%) felt welcomed by NBOA and NBOA members. However, the survey results revealed that the path to volunteer leadership within NBOA was unclear. We took this finding to heart and have worked this past year to increase transparency around available volunteer opportunities and the process for involvement. This included publishing answers to frequently asked questions about our volunteer opportunities. We saw a 20% increase in volunteer interest this year compared to last year. I hope our efforts to be more transparent about volunteering with NBOA means that volunteer leadership is more accessible to members of all backgrounds and professional experiences.

The 2022 member survey was just the first step in understanding how well we are bringing our strategic framework to life. And we remain committed to continuous improvement. To that end, I’m asking that you take just five minutes before you head out for some well-deserved relaxation this summer to complete this year's survey, which will remain open now through June 23. By participating, you will be entered into a drawing for a free registration for any NBOA online course or workshop of your choice.

Make sure your voice is heard! It’s truly important in helping NBOA leadership and staff determine where we should focus our time and resources in the years ahead, which in turn, we hope will help you. May your own summer planning be inspiring and productive – and punctuated by some high-quality rest and time away from your desks.

Jeff Shields signature


Jeff Shields

Jeffrey Shields, FASAE, CAE

President and CEO


Washington, DC

Jeff Shields, FASAE, CAE, has served as president and CEO of the NBOA since March 2010. NBOA is the premier national association serving the needs of business officers and business operations staff at independent schools. Shields, an active member of the American Society of Association Executives, has been recognized as an ASAE Fellow (FASAE) and earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) professional designation. His current board service includes serving as a director for AMHIC, a healthcare consortium for educational associations in Washington, DC, as well as a trustee for the Enrollment Management Association. Previous board service includes serving as a director for the American Society of Association Executives, as a director for One Schoolhouse, an innovative online school offering supplemental education to independent schools, and as a trustee for Georgetown Day School in Washington, DC. Shields holds a BA from Shippensburg University and an MA from The Ohio State University.

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