Using a Board Meeting Schedule to Maximize Your Time Together

A board meeting schedule serves as an aid to keep your meetings on the right track and productive. Substance over style is important in order to maximize the time your board members will have to work together.

Start with a call-to- begin and an introduction from the facilitator or the chair of the board to officially begin your meeting. You may then proceed to accept the minutes of the previous meeting or the financial report. You may also discuss the latest updates to the committee or other administrative tasks. Then, it’s usually a good idea to reserve a room for strategic planning discussions or other governance-related issues. You might also want to include a confidential or sensitive issue in an executive session, if your organization’s bylaws allow it.

Throughout the meeting, be certain to listen attentively and thoughtfully to each item. If you have questions or concerns regarding the presentation in any way, be sure to raise questions and allow fellow board members to respond. Be careful not to drift off track and discuss topics that aren’t scheduled for discussion. This could eat up valuable time during meetings and distract from the most important things on your agenda. To avoid this you can add the “parking lot” item at the bottom of the agenda to push random topics that need more focus at a later time.

Lastly, make sure to send your board members the agenda at least a week in advance of your actual meeting. This gives everyone plenty of time to read the agenda and formulate their thoughts for the meeting. It’s recommended to include any supporting documents required by board members in order to know the subject.

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