How to Hold an Effective Nonprofit Board Meeting

A nonprofit board meeting should be informative and engaging. This can be accomplished by focussing on the organization’s goals and mission with clear communication. Meetings are often dominated by a long-winded presentation of the organization or heated discussions on specific topics by one or two individuals (we all know that person). A little bit of extra attention can keep the meetings lively and help board members stay involved with the goals of your organization. The presentation of a video with client testimonials is a great method of reuniting your board members to your mission.

Check that the agenda for your board meeting is well-planned in advance. A facilitator at the meeting can assist or a group of board members can assume the task of preparing your agenda. Nothing can sabotage a productive board meeting faster than board members who are scrambling to read important materials at the same time as they are being discussed or, even more important do not have the necessary documents available at all.

Boards should not devote more than 25 percent of the meeting to updates and “have-to’s.” A lot of time is often wasted by board members getting bogged down in the details of officers’ reports, committee chair reports, and other items that are routine. Many of these items can be reduced to 5-10 minutes, and can easily be included in the pre-meeting agenda or as a part of regular e-mail updates to the board.

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