Improve Non-Profit Board Room Productivity

Engage with your vision

Are your non-profit’s board meetings running as smoothly as they could be? Or is it struggling with flagging interest and members who don’t come prepared? If you want to renew engagement at your quarterly meetings try beginning your meetings with vision. The directors came to your organization because they believe in what it does – capitalize on that energy. Financial reports, budget numbers, and motions reports can often seem disconnected from your mission. Try to rectify malaise by opening your meetings with vision.

 Use a detailed agenda

One of the issues many boards face is staying on their agenda. Agendas should be precise and scheduled down to the minute. It also helps to keep track of which members are responsible for leading the discussion regarding each issue. You can also use a board portal to hasten the proceedings; one of the features offered by software like Aprio is the ability to attach links to agenda items that make sources readily accessible. You can cut down on the time you spend flipping through papers to find the right information.


 Use board portals to send out meeting packets

Board portals don’t just make it easier to access information on the Internet, they also streamline the process of creating and distributing the pre-meeting books. Products such as the Aprio board portals offer administrators an easier way to distribute financial reports and agendas. But they don’t just save you from having to print and mail a 300-page binder, most of which will find its way into the garbage. Portals also ensure the security of your materials by requiring multi-layered password access and delivering all documents through the portal itself. Even someone in possession of a director’s device would not be able to access materials without the password.

 Stay on schedule

Start your meetings on time and end them on time – while this seems like basic office etiquette, directors can be as guilty of slipping as anyone. Since these meetings sometimes span over the course of days, it’s imperative that you stay on schedule throughout the agenda. Each item gets no more time than it’s allotted – while that can be difficult for the chair to enforce, it keeps engagement high as every member feels as though his or her time is respected. Also, don’t allow a culture of “5 to 10 minutes” late grow, as meetings that never start on time become a disincentive for other directors to show up on schedule. Start on schedule no matter what and people will clue in.

 Don’t let one or two members monopolize the meeting

In-house surveys from software offered by companies like Aprio allow directors to freely give feedback and criticism. Frequently, less experienced members are reluctant to openly criticize their more senior colleagues. That can be a problem if there is a real communications issue at play. Survey tools help administrators recognize and address issues standing in the way of your productivity. They’re only one of a host of features make board portals such powerful tools – book a demo with a vendor now to find the one that works for your organization.

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