How to Hold an Effective Nonprofit Board Meeting

A nonprofit board meeting should be an engaging and informative event. The best way to accomplish this is to use clear communication that is focused on the organization’s goals and mission. Too many meetings are focused on organizational updates which waste time or spirited discussions on particular topics by one or two participants (we all know the person). A little more can help keep the meeting engaging and help board members remain connected to the goals of your organization. Video clips of customer reviews can be a good way to reconnect your board members to your mission.

Make sure that your agenda for board meetings is organized prior to the meeting. A facilitator for meetings can help or a group of board members can be assigned the task of preparing your agenda. Board members who are scrambling for important documents while they are discussing them or worse, do not have them available at all, can kill an effective meeting.

Boards should allocate no more than 25 percent of their meeting to updates and “have-to’s.” A lot of time is spent by board members buried in the details of the officers’ report and committee chair reports and other routine items. Many of these items can be cut down to 5-10 minutes, and can easily be included in the pre-meeting packet, or as part of regular e mail board room info updates to the board.

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