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Run Effective Board Meetings

Make sure your board meetings are productive and engage board members:

  • Do as much planning and work before the meeting as possible.
  • Start and end all meetings on time.
  • Send board meeting reminders a week or more before the meeting. 
  • Refer to your strategic plan, as it relates to the business at hand. 
  • Keep members on task, stopping discussions that go off-topic.
  • Print your mission and vision on the agenda, and discuss how action items support them.
  • Have time at the beginning for members to suggest additional agenda items (to eliminate surprise topics). The board president can accept or postpone topics. 
  • Use a Consent Agenda.

What is a consent agenda?

Members receive the Agenda, Minutes, Treasurer’s Report, Executive Director’s Report and any other major reports that require an approval vote before the meeting (usually electronically).  At the meeting, everyone will have ALREADY read the reports, so the board can take one single vote to approve the minutes and reports, after members ask any related questions.  This is a good way to keep non-attending board members informed.

What is the typical order of business at a board meeting?

  1. Approve: previous meeting’s Minutes and Treasurer’s, President’s and Executive Director’s Reports OR the Consent Agenda
  2. Committee Reports
  3. Old Business
  4. New Business
  5. Announcements
  6. Adjournment

Grobman, Gary M. The Nonprofit Handbook. Third Edition.