Strengthen a good board’s ability to stay on track.
We’re talking here about something even easier than what’s on the agenda: here are three instant ways to improve meetings simply by what you put on the piece of paper titled “Board Agenda:”
1. Put your mission statement at the top of every agenda. It quietly reminds people of your organization’s purpose throughout the meeting. If you have a business model statement, place it there as well.
2. Right under the date, place a list of what individuals agreed to do at the last board meeting.
3. At the end of the agenda, keep a running list of topics coming up. For example, at the end of the May agenda, the following might be noted:
- Review line of credit policies: June
- Executive director evaluation discusssion: August
- Overall critique of fundraising strategies: September
By keeping this running list, everyone knows what is scheduled for future meetings, and will neither forget them nor worry that they will be forgotten by others. The Upcoming Discussions list also serves to keep the board accountable for its plans.
None of these quick improvements will fix major problems, but they will go a surprisingly long way in strengthening a good board’s ability to stay on track.
See also in Blue Avocado:
- Ten Quick Ways to Invigorate Board Meetings
- Five Tips for Better Board Packets
- Critical Path for the Board
- Nonprofit Business Model Statements
About the Author
Jan is a former editor of Blue Avocado, former executive director of CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, and has sat in on dozens of budget discussions as a board member of several nonprofits. With Jeanne Bell and Steve Zimmerman, she co-authored Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability, which looks at nonprofit business models.
Articles on Blue Avocado do not provide legal representation or legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for advice or legal counsel. Blue Avocado provides space for the nonprofit sector to express new ideas. Views represented in Blue Avocado do not necessarily express the opinion of the publication or its publisher.