board meeting

Can we do this in only 3 days?

Can we do this in only 3 days?

Posted in emergency / policy / board of directors / board meeting

Your non-profit has been selected to apply to a special funding program. Not tiny little peanuts funding, we’re talking 6-figure, big-bucks. No problem. As a non-profit executive director, you are very experienced writing grant applications. The catch? This odd little funding program requires...


Call to order: 4:02 PM

Call to order: 4:02 PM

The board meeting is coming up and your job, as the executive director of the non-profit, is to prepare both the reading package and your own reports. Avoid hurt feelings and wasted time. The challenge comes in understanding the nuances between what parts of the reading package are created by...


Executive Directors can help boards make better decisions

Executive Directors can help boards make better decisions

Non-profit boards make a LOT of governing decisions. When the decision-making system is working well, the board might conduct its own research, develop committees, and have discussions. That’s the dream. The reality is it rarely happens that way. Don’t expect volunteer board members to have...


How long do I have to do this?

How long do I have to do this?

When a volunteer considers joining a non-profit board, one of their first considerations is the length of the term. A board term is the set length of time the volunteer holds a position as a board member before having to run for re-election or leave the board. For a potential nominee...


How to Stop Non-Profit Policies from Becoming Mind-Numbingly Boring

How to Stop Non-Profit Policies from Becoming Mind-Numbingly Boring

Posted in office operations / filing / policy / board meeting

Non-profits have sooo many policies. Policies that define the work of the board. Policies that define what an executive director is and isn’t allowed to do. Policies that tell the staff team what they can and cannot do. A non-profit’s policies, from governing to operational, are the rules that...


A Board Meeting Agenda is a Little Like a Game of Go Fish, Do You Have Any 2’s?

A Board Meeting Agenda is a Little Like a Game of Go Fish, Do You Have Any 2’s?

Posted in board meeting

One of the jobs of an executive director is to support the board of directors to do their job. The executive director, usually a paid employee, is often tasked with doing the work to prep for board meetings, so the volunteer board will have everything they need at their fingertips during...


Make it Easier to Meet Quorum

Make it Easier to Meet Quorum

Posted in board of directors / board meeting

Non-profits are legal entities, governed by a board of directors. The decisions a board makes, happen at board meetings. Decisions might be simple, such as approving the agenda, or complex, such as deciding employee wages. To prevent a splinter group of board members from meeting privately...


This Meeting Could Have Been an Email

This Meeting Could Have Been an Email

Posted in staff meeting / board meeting

With the shift to a digital workplace these last couple years, virtual meetings have become the norm. Without having to worry about a meeting location, catering preferences, drive time, or road conditions, meetings became easier. Easy meetings soon became meeting more often, which turned...


Create an Agenda for ANY Meeting

Create an Agenda for ANY Meeting

Posted in staff meeting / board meeting

From board meeting to staff meeting, or member’s meetings, a successful agenda will help to keep the discussion organized and orderly. Agendas that are poorly constructed will waste attendee’s time, important decisions might be missed or handled incorrectly, and an inexperienced meeting chair...


What should be included in board meeting minutes?

What should be included in board meeting minutes?

Posted in board meeting

Board meetings can be complicated and messy, filled with opinions, side conversations, heated debate, dead silence, …and also all the official decisions the board makes. How do you know what to record in the minutes? Board meeting minutes are the official and legal record of decisions made at...


How to Plan a Board Meeting

How to Plan a Board Meeting

Posted in board meeting

A non-profit board meeting has a lot of components. There are the standing agenda items to be discussed, reports to receive, research to evaluate, and decisions to be made. What goes on behind the scenes to prepare for a board meeting? When do you start planning? What documents do you...


Writing Procedures for Great Board Meetings

Writing Procedures for Great Board Meetings

Posted in policy / board meeting

Meeting procedures is a policy that determines how a board meeting will be handled. It is very common for some meeting procedures to be defined in the Bylaws where the voting membership requires certain minimum requirements. For example: Minimum number of board meetings per year How a...


How to Use an In-Camera Session with Confidence

How to Use an In-Camera Session with Confidence

Posted in board meeting

A non-profit board meeting agenda usually includes a portion of the meeting, where the board goes into an in-camera session. In-camera is a fancy way of saying it is a private part of the meeting, giving the board an opportunity to have a discussion without non-board members. When...


Learn How to Make a Board Motion Right from Your First Board Meeting

Learn How to Make a Board Motion Right from Your First Board Meeting

Posted in board meeting

Normally, non-profits follow some sort of parliamentary procedure or Robert’s Rules of Order to conduct an orderly board meeting. It doesn’t take long for a board of directors to become comfortable with making decisions and to eventually embrace having complex discussions. But what if you are...


A Better Way to Address New Business at a Board Meeting

A Better Way to Address New Business at a Board Meeting

Posted in board of directors / board meeting

A non-profit board meeting traditionally has a few recurring agenda items such as approving the previous meeting minutes, committee reports, old business, and new business. The terms old business and new business are closely tied, and confusion can arise trying to figure out what items are...


How to Schedule a Board Meeting

How to Schedule a Board Meeting

Posted in board of directors / board meeting

It can be hard enough to schedule date night for two people already living in the same house. Now consider how hard it might be to schedule a meeting for 10+ people, all with different work schedules, different family demands, different levels of engagement, and…they don’t get paid...


The Room Fell Eerily Silent

The Room Fell Eerily Silent

Posted in board meeting

Minutes are a major pain in the ***. They’re long. They’re tedious to write. They’re need to be typed up either as the meeting is in progress, or immediately after, before the minute-taker forgets tiny nuances, or (in my case) before the minute-taker can’t read her own handwriting! Not all...


Two Documents to be a Stronger Board Member

Two Documents to be a Stronger Board Member

Posted in board of directors / board meeting

The holidays are a great time to relax and unwind with family and friends. But if you’re a non-profit board member, it can also mean an extended period that you are away from a regular board meeting. Governance skills can get a little rusty. When a meeting is finally called, and maybe the...


Who Takes the Minutes

Who Takes the Minutes

Posted in board meeting

Who takes the minutes at board meetings? This sounds like a simple question, but the answer is… it depends. There isn’t a rule that is set in stone. The minute-taker is likely different at different non-profits. When deciding who should take minutes, or if you are evaluating what you are...


A More Flexible Board Meeting

A More Flexible Board Meeting

Posted in board of directors / board meeting

A board meeting is more flexible than most people realize. Sure, there are a few things that are necessary legal steps. For example, approving the agenda, approving the previous meeting minutes, and following the correct process for making and seconding motions. After that you can create a...


Re-Balance a Meeting

Re-Balance a Meeting

Posted in staff meeting / board meeting

What determines the success of a meeting? Is it finishing on time? Is it making sure all the agenda items were covered? Is it taking the time to let everyone speak? Is it keeping the meeting moving along at a quick pace? You can do a couple of quick tests to check to see if your meetings...