Nonprofit organizations hold board meetings, usually at least once a month or quarterly, depending on the specified frequency of the bylaws. And because board meetings don’t happen very often, a typical monthly board meeting could take roughly an hour to 2 hours or at least half a day, more or less for quarterly basis meetings.
Now, with that amount of time in the meeting, one would think that the board is doing pretty well, going smoothly and effectively. But unfortunately, that’s not always the case. If a board meeting is poorly structured, it can drag on for hours without so much accomplished.
Things like members not up to speed with the agenda, so they come in unprepared, a board member who missed a lot of meetings needed to be updated, members jumping off the discussion topic and going off talking about something else entirely dragging the meeting even longer, and conflicts among board members during a decision making are among other issues that can arise during a board meeting.
One of the most effective ways to resolve these issues is through the use of board meetings software. Outlined below are the benefits of using this type of software that nonprofit organizations can take advantage of to achieve an effective and streamlined board meeting.
One of the main purposes of board meeting software is to streamline the board meeting management process. Using board meeting software is efficient because it gives the chairman of the board or the secretary the ability to create board meetings, add agendas to the meeting, attach files, coordinate with other board members, create minutes, manage files, and track attendance in just a few clicks. This is opposed to the traditional process of preparing for a board meeting which involves a boatload of paperwork and processes that takes a lot of time.
Security is and should be the top priority feature of a board meeting software. Most of the board portals in the market feature high-standard encryption that provides high-level protection within the platform.
This security feature provides protection and confidentiality over the information, documents, and board files shared within the portal that can only be accessed by selected and authorized members. In addition, messaging system features for communication and collaboration with other board members are also encrypted to ensure that information is not leaked to uninvited parties.
Role-based permission capabilities provide another layer of security by restricting members to only sharing documents and other information with authorized members within the organization.
Collaboration and Coordination
Apart from the messaging service that allows members to communicate with each other, most board meeting software offer board members the ability to take notes, annotate, highlight, and more, and share with other committee members for productivity and streamlined collaboration.
A powerful and enhanced collaboration within an organization bridges the gap to successful and effective governance. With the help of board meeting software, members are able to communicate, make informed and better decisions because they have access to reports and other relevant information, and request and obtain signatures and approval within the portal.
Creating minutes of the meeting, editing files, file distribution, obtaining e-signatures, and approval, have never been easy with the use of board meeting software. And with a few clicks, files and reports are distributed to the committee for review and ensure everyone is on the same page with the latest statistics and reports before the board meetings start.
This gives time for interactive discussions and participation from all of the members that ultimately deal with the solution of each given agenda without having to go through these brain-numbing reports in the meeting. Documents such as contracts, policies, and written consent are securely stored in the cloud and are accessible anytime.
Staying on track with an important agenda is difficult, especially with a handful of members representing different areas of the organization who want to discuss their own plan. And because board meetings only happen once a month or every quarter, there are a lot of things to cover. Board management software encourages members to stay on track with what’s important and needs to be tackled by creating board meetings with clear objectives through its integrated board meeting template.
This feature ensures that all members know what to expect and what to talk about during the meeting. Staying focused on the most important issues, especially at the beginning of the meeting, ensures maximum energy is invested in the critical matters to be dealt with through the portal’s visibility and distribution of the meeting agenda before the meeting.
Creating tasks and assignments, assigning action items and commitments to certain departments, setting project timelines, and tracking progress within the platform with all departments’ visibility are another great advantage of a board meeting software. In addition, most software in the market has integrated applications that allow members to generate reports and display statistics that ensure members are up to date with current progress and will enable them to collaborate with other members that drive results and efficiency.
Summary and Survey
Board chairs can make use of polls and survey features of board meeting software to collect ideas and suggestions from members about the areas that went well during the board meeting and other matters within the organization. They can also use this tool to gather members’ opinions on the areas that need improvement. Most organizations use this method to motivate innovation and better prepare for future board meetings and transparency, which inspires better performance.
Board members who cannot attend face-to-face board meetings can join virtually using any device through mobile applications or web-based portals.
This accessibility feature also allows members to access files and get updated with the latest reports even when they are out of the office.
An effective board meeting starts with preparation. And preparation for board meetings means a lot of work for the person assigned, not to mention time-consuming. Making use of the available board meetings software enhances efficiency in initiating board meetings and allows members to focus on strategies and develop plans to improve the growth and success of the organization. With its centralized and sophisticated features, running board meetings has been made easy and effective.