How to Hold an Effective Nonprofit Board Meeting

A board meeting for nonprofits must be informative and entertaining. The best method to achieve this is through clear communication that is focused on the mission and goals of the organization. Many meetings are dominated either by time-wasting organizational updates or heated discussions about particular topics with one or two individuals (we all know that person). A little extra effort can keep the discussion lively and help board members remain connected to your organization’s mission. For instance, showing a video of a customer testimonial could be a powerful way to reconnect board members to your purpose.

Be sure that the agenda for board meetings is well planned in advance. A facilitator at the meeting can assist or the board members can assume the task of creating the agenda. Nothing can ruin a successful board meeting more quickly than board members having to read the important documents while they are being discussed or, even more important do not have the necessary documents accessible at all times.

Boards should allocate no more than 25 percent of their meeting time to updates and “have-to’s.” Too much time is wasted by board members drowning in the details of officers’ reports, committee chair reports, and other items that are routine. Many of these items hiring board members remotely could be reduced to 5-10 mins, and easily included in a meeting packet or regular emails to the board.

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