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How to Build a More Effective Nonprofit Board - Part 1

By Dmitry Volfson, HoganTaylor Assurance Manager

On September 1, 2015, I officially became President of the Board for Tulsa CARES (nonprofit focused on care for individuals impacted with HIV/AIDS). In a multi-part series, I will address common challenges experienced by various nonprofit organizations that we work with on a daily basis. In part I of the series, I will address the importance of creating an effective board meeting agenda. This single basic tool can be a powerful way to re-engage board members and produce necessary results for your nonprofit and adhere to the organization’s strategic plan initiatives.

Have you stepped back and asked yourself how engaged is your board? Board attendance is an easy metric to measure and gauge board member’s involvement, but a much more difficult measure is the impact board members make between board meetings. A robust board meeting agenda could be one tool that will assist in re-engaging your board members and demand results that are critical in order to advance the cause of your organization. The agenda needs to be more focused on specific tasks and include each task’s current status, the person responsible for the task, the due date, and the necessary resources (funds and time) that will be required to complete the task. The agenda task shall be reviewed on periodic basis and updated well in advance of the upcoming board meeting. This accountability will ensure board members are engaged and continue to be strong advocates of your cause while out in the community.

For your reference, a sample agenda is available.

Keep a look out for part II where we will discuss the prudent roles of committees and sub-committees within the board.

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