How to Hold an Effective Nonprofit Board Meeting

A nonprofit board meeting must be engaging and informative. The best way to do this is through clear communication that focuses on the organization’s mission and goals. Meetings are often dominated by organizational updates that are time-consuming or heated discussions of specific topics from one or two people in the room (we basics all know that person). By adding a little something more to the meeting can also keep it interesting and help board members remain committed to the mission of your organization. Showing a video of client testimonials is a great way to reconnect your board members to your mission.

Be sure that the agenda for board meetings is prepared in advance. A facilitator for meetings can be helpful or the board members can take on the task of preparing your agenda. Nothing can ruin a successful board meeting faster than board members who are having to read the important documents at the same time they discuss them or worse they don’t have the documents available at all.

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

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