Board Meeting Tips
There’s nothing worse than a meeting that has no direction – especially when that meeting is after hours for your “volunteer” job. Here are three simple, yet effective tips to help you have efficient board meetings.
1. Agenda. Agenda. Agenda.
Your board members are volunteering their time and that time should be valued. Preparing an agenda ahead of time (and sticking to it) is crucial for an efficient board meeting. The agenda should be centered around your organization’s strategic goals, not updates.
Your agenda has a start time on it. Stick to it and always start on time. Don’t feel like you have to wait for everyone to arrive to start the meeting. When you start every meeting on time, you convey the importance of punctuality and show board members and guests that you value their time.
2. Strategic Discussion Not Information Overload.
Your board’s job is to help move your mission forward through governance and strategy. Make your board meetings about strategic discussions and decisions, not updates. Noncontroversial or routine items can easily be reviewed via email prior to the meeting. Make sure you send out materials at least five days ahead of time. Materials such as the agenda, previous meeting minutes, financial statements, membership and staff reports, and any other documents can be sent to board members prior to the meeting.
Good board members know their responsibilities and will read what you send them. Assume board members did their homework and reviewed the updates. This will make the meeting more productive by allowing more time for strategic discussions.
3. Vision and inspiration.
Your board members are there because they believe in the mission and vision of your organization. Don’t forget to include your mission and vision in your board meetings. Try to bookend your meetings with mission and vision to help the board stay connected to your organization’s purpose.
You can incorporate your mission through small things, such as having your mission and vision statement printed on your meeting agenda. You could also have a new member give a testimonial about why they joined.
Just make sure your board members leave inspired and deeply connected to your vision. You don’t want them leaving a meeting focused on how much you’re going to spend this year.
Your board meetings can be one of your greatest assets or one of your biggest headaches. Use these tips to make every board meeting productive and inspiring.
By Peggy Smith
Director of Product Marketing, Membership Solutions, Community Brands Source: YourMembership.com resource library