How to Hold an Effective Nonprofit Board Meeting

A nonprofit board meeting must be engaging and informative. The best way to do this is to use clear communication that focuses on the organization’s mission and objectives. Meetings are often focused on organizational updates that waste time, or by impassioned discussions of particular topics from only a few participants (we all know that person). A little extra to the meeting can also keep it engaging and help board members stay engaged to the mission of your organization. The basics presentation of a video with client reviews can be a good way to reconnect your board members with your mission.

Make sure your agenda for board meetings is well prepared in advance. A meeting facilitator can help, or an entire group of board members can be assigned the task of preparing the agenda. Nothing kills a productive board meeting more quickly than board members who are in a rush to read important documents while they are being discussed or, worse do not have the necessary documents accessible at all times.

Boards should not devote more than 25 percent of their meeting time on updates and “have to’s”. A lot of time is wasted by board members who get lost in the details of committee chair reports, officer reports, and other items that are routine. A lot of these items can be reduced to 5-10 minutes, and easily included in a meeting packet or regular emailed updates to the board.


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