Boards of directors meet a number of times throughout the year to discuss and act upon various issues and directions on behalf of their nonprofit organizations. Chairing the meeting requires preparation and leadership skills to be demonstrated throughout the meeting to keep order and focus all members on the mission. Avoid allowing the members to leave feeling as if nothing was accomplished and frustrated with the inner workings of the nonprofit organization by following typical meeting guidelines.
Remind each board member of the nonprofit organization of the meeting date, location and time via e-mail, telephone call or post on the organization’s page on a common social networking site. Inform each member at least one week in advance and instruct the members to notify the secretary of any known absences.
Type a meeting agenda and distribute one to each board member, which includes listings that allow for board member questions or comments. Allow time for each participant to review the agenda prior to the meeting’s start.
Follow the agenda carefully. Straying from the prepared order of actions and issues may lead board members on a tangent and thus accomplishing little of the set goals.
Encourage each person presenting to report only the facts opposed to allowing for an extensive and opinionated speech. The treasurer and secretary reports need not be drawn-out processes. Invite each nonprofit committee to report on their progress. Propose the fundraising committee presents their efforts to the board of directors. Clarify comments made by each board member to induce a clear understanding, when necessary, which avoids wasting time on rambling explanations.
Promptly vote on each action to be taken and quickly instruct or ask for volunteers to ensure the motion is enacted on behalf of the organization. Prepare yourself with responses for any common questions that a board member may ask during the meeting to avoid taking unnecessary time devising an answer. When a response is unknown, inform the member that you will follow up on the question and send an e-mail to each board member with an answer.
Follow through with any promised act after the meeting and close the board meeting by briefly describing the next steps to be taken. Quickly summarize the events to ensure that each member leaves with an understanding of what was accomplished. Announce the date, time and location for the next meeting prior to the meetings adjournment.