A board meeting for nonprofits must be an entertaining and informative affair. The best way to do this is to use clear communication that focuses on the organization’s goals and mission. A lot of meetings are dominated by a long-winded presentation of the organization or heated discussions on certain topics, usually by one or two people (we all recognize that person). By adding a little something more to the meeting can keep it lively and help board members stay connected to your organization’s purpose. For example an opportunity to show a video of a customer testimonial could be a powerful method of bringing board members back to your mission.

Be sure that your agenda for the board meeting is properly planned ahead of time. A facilitator at the meeting can assist, or an entire group of board members can take on the task of creating the agenda. Board members who are rushing for crucial documents while they are discussing them or, even worse, do not have them in the first place can ruin a productive meeting.

Boards should not devote more than 25 percent of their meetings 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 routine items. Many of these items can be cut down to 5-10 minutes and can easily be included in the meeting packet check prior to the meeting or as part of regular e-mail messages to the board.

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