Directors of non-profit organizations are able to discuss variety of subjects at board meetings. The topics can range from assessing organizational performance to discussing how the organization should advance its strategies in the future. Nonprofits depend on board members with diverse backgrounds and expertise to steer them towards success.

In order to have a productive board meeting, it’s crucial that everyone is prepared and has read the relevant documents prior to the meeting. Ideally, the agenda should be crafted by a group and distributed prior to the meeting so that participants can read the documents and prepare for discussion. It is crucial to include enough information for the participants to to effectively participate.

By establishing clear criteria for making decisions and distributing them to participants the board can direct discussions toward an agreed-upon goal. This prevents irrelevant discussions that consume the time of meetings and prevents the board from coming to a an agreement or deciding on important issues. Utilizing technology tools that allow real-time collaboration can make it easier for board members to communicate and share documents, even when they are geographically dispersed.

The proper mix of board members can help create a more productive atmosphere and energize meetings. It is important to select an equal amount of optimism and pessimism. You should also choose a mix of youth and experience. In addition, changing up the meeting location and/or the time of day can stimulate discussion by stimulating the participants and taking them out of their routines. In addition, assessing the effectiveness of meetings at least once per year is critical to making improvements. To do this, hand each board member two sticky notes and ask them to evaluate their overall satisfaction the meetings on a scale of + (what is working well) to -(what could use improvement).