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How to Prepare Your Boardroom for Success in 2022 Featured

How to Prepare Your Boardroom for Success in 2022 Andrew Neel

The COVID-19 pandemic forced nonprofit boards to change how they operate. Boards went from working in person to working fully online in a matter of days. This sudden shift left board members wondering what the best use of their time was. We wanted to find out how boards felt, so we collected data from over 900 Boardable users to see what trends boards are expecting in the new year. Here’s what we found and how you can prepare for these changes.

The change: Boards will not return to entirely in-person meetings.

There are a few advantages to boards not returning to in-person meetings. Participating in remote meetings has proven easier than taking part in meetings held in person. Boards reported an increase in geographical diversity in 2021, and, because of this, they are also seeing an increase in the diversity of the talent they recruit.

Meeting attendees can also log in from wherever they are, which comes with several advantages like cutting out time to commute and allowing better representation for diverse communities as well as people with disabilities.

What your board can do to prepare: Invest in a board management solution to address new needs brought on by the pandemic.

Nonprofit organizations can use board management software to craft agendas, access meeting recordings, download and view reports, and more. Finding the perfect tool helps reduce Zoom fatigue and provides users with a more positive meeting experience. Some board management software tools offer accessibility features like a screen reader or increased spaces between lines of text, which creates a more inclusive environment for your board and empowers everyone to contribute without barriers. 

The change: Remote board meetings will require admins and teams to be more prepared ahead of meetings.

We also found that meetings are being scheduled as far as 85 days in advance. Leaders are preparing meeting agendas well ahead of time, often completing them 5-12 days before holding the meeting.

What your board can do to prepare: Create meaningful agendas that make an impact.

To ensure a successful board meeting, your team must have a strong agenda to follow. Thoughtfully organize your agenda, and beware of information overload. Ask your board members to review and provide feedback on the meeting agenda ahead of time, so the agenda can be revised as needed and they can come to the meeting prepared. 

The change: Hybrid board meetings are taking over.

Nonprofit boardrooms are looking to accommodate every individual on the board. To do this effectively, most nonprofit boards are shifting to hybrid work to allow members to participate in meetings virtually or in person.

What your board can do to prepare: Make meetings more engaging for all participants.

To make the most of your hybrid board meetings, you might consider using board management technology that offers a one-screen experience and allows participants to see the presenter and the agenda at once, as well as a feature that allows users to cast votes during meetings. Create a more collaborative environment by encouraging all members to speak during the meeting, and use video to engage board members through nonverbal communication. 

2022 will be a different and exciting year for nonprofit organizations. Boards will not return to fully in-person settings, and your board must prepare to take on the shift to hybrid work. Creating useful agendas and planning engaging meetings are part of the process. Get creative! Find what works best for you and your board.

Using the tips listed above ensures success all around. You’ll make 2022 a more impactful year by holding better board meetings with more productive and efficient attendees.

Jeb Banner is CEO and co-founder of Boardable, a board management software company serving nonprofits around the world. Previously the CEO of SmallBox, a creative agency he co-founded in 2006, Jeb is also the founder of Musical Family Tree, a nonprofit dedicated to spreading Indiana music, and co-founder and past chair of The Speak Easy, an entrepreneurial co-working nonprofit located in Indianapolis, IN. Along the way Jeb has co-founded or invested in a number of other Indianapolis-based businesses. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife Jenny and their three lovely daughters. In his spare time, Jeb collects vinyl records, records music, and cooks as much as possible.

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