improving nonprofit board meetings

The Challenge of the Nonprofit Board Meeting: Some Tips for Board Chairs

The Challenge of the Nonprofit Board Meeting: Some Tips for Board Chairs

By Eugene Fram

The new director sits down at his first board meeting and turns to the director sitting beside him. “What am I supposed to do?” he asks the more experienced director who replies, “Pity the Board Chair!”

One of the biggest challenges for a president or board chair is to run a tight and meaningful meeting. Without careful planning and new approaches, the obligatory periodic 1.5 hours with the directors can also be a major frustration. Directors often either don’t show up or appear to be bored, tired, disinterested clock-watchers during this important effort to collectively oversee the state of the organization.

Here are some ideas- some innovative, some old stand-byes- that may help the chair ”Preside” more effectively. Be sure to sit down with the CEO well before the scheduled meeting to set the agenda, establish meeting goals and brainstorm the format. Anticipate the inevitable “bumps in the road’ and how best to handle them. Agree to try a new idea occasionally to facilitate discussion, nurture participation, and generally engage the directors. (more…)

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