standard board meeting agenda

we had been discussing her relationship with her board and had just started to develop a plan for how she could collaborate with her board chair to design a great board meeting. can you help me tweak it a bit?” board meetings should not sneak up on anyone. when i was the executive director of glaad, i always tried to think a few board meetings ahead. it was one of my five-star board chairs that prodded me to develop the habit. i tried to think about all four board meetings in the aggregate and tied milestone dates to the annual goals we had as an organization. the big benefit for me as the leader was that i saw the presentations together and was able to then craft my comments to help create a real overall narrative for the weekend.

you want to have that complete with a reasonable timeframe after the close of the fiscal year. then you need some kind of kick off to the year to level the playing field – what are your goals for the year, how do you plan to get there, and what are your respective (board and staff) road maps for success? that seems like plenty to remind you that there aren’t too many surprises in the annual trajectory of a nonprofit organization. if you agree with the premise that there is a cyclical nature to the board meeting topics each year, then what you need is a visual that gives leaders of the organization a sense of where each board meeting fits into the larger context of the year. you could even give folks a reasonable amount of time to write a board report and (gasp!) and this, after all, is a key to building an effective board.

a chairperson will head the meeting and read from the agenda after it has been approved by the members. during the meeting, the secretary should keep a written record of the items discussed in the board meeting minutes. formatting of a board meeting depends on the type of organization. after careful reading, and any motions to add items, the agenda will be voted on. if the previous meeting minutes have not yet been distributed they should be at this time.

after reading by the members, they will be voted on to be an accurate description of the items discussed at the last meeting. or “unfinished business” is any remaining items from the last meeting that should be listed for discussion. any financial summaries or any reports should be distributed at this time that is related to the business. any and all new items for discussion should be mentioned at this time. any decisions made should be put up to a vote at this time. if there are no other business items, this section can be skipped.

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