Planning board meetings well before your scheduled meeting is key to a properly functioning, well run nonprofit organization. Board meetings are one of those things that shouldn’t sneak up on you or your board members. If you want your meeting to be of true value, where things get done, you need to remember that you get as much out as you put in. If you go into a board meeting having only planned it a few days in advance, it could easily lead to missed key points, disorganization, and a possible waste of time not only for you but that of your board members.  

Preparing for your Board Meetings

Board meeting agendas should be sent to board members with ample time to not only prepare for the meeting but to be able to notify if they have additional items that need to be added to the agenda. This also allows for anyone needing to make a presentation to have an appropriate amount of time to make and prepare for it. 

One of the great things about nonprofits is they run on a calendar, there tends to be a cycle to when events happen within your organization. This makes planning your board meetings that much easier because of this annual cycle.

How you divide these topics depends on how often your board meeting occurs, whether that be monthly, every other month, or quarterly. Here are a few examples of how you might set up your calendar for your board meeting and what topics could be the focus of that meeting. Of course, this is all dependent on your nonprofit’s needs and the specific cycle of events. 

Below are possible planning guides that will help you with creating your agenda and not only understanding needs and what must be discussed, but also other minor topics that are great for PR.

Bi-monthly Meeting Planning Guide:

  • January
    • Review previous year
    • Present annual goals
    • Success Metrics
    • Inspiration and Motivation
  • March
    • Fundraising Preparation
    • Program Presentations
  • May
    • Audit Approval
    • Mid Year Budget Review
    • Fundrasing Final Prep or Debreifing
  • September
    • Fundraiser Debrief or start planning for next round of fundraising
    • Board Member buisness (elections/recruitment)
    • Begin preparing for the end of year 
  • October
    • Budget Presentation
  • December
    • Year in Review (successes, challenges, lessons learned)
    • Board Appreciation for individuals and groups.

Quarterly Meeting Planning Guide:

  • January
    • Review previous year
    • Present annual goals
    • Success Metrics
    • Inspiration and Motivation
    • Fundraising Goals
  • May
    • Audit approval
    • Mid Year Budget Review
    • Program presentations
    • Fundraiser Final Prep or debriefing
  • September
    • Fundraiser Debrief or start planning for next round of fundraising
    • Board Member buisness (elections/recruitment)
    • Begin preparing for the end of year 
  • October
    • Year in Review ( successes, challenges, lessons learned)
    • Budget Presentation
    • Board Appreciation for individuals and groups.

Don’t Let Your Nonprofits Board Meetings Go To Waste

Creating a planning schedule for what your board meetings will cover throughout the year will be beneficial in getting out in front of your board meetings and generate the best use of time from all the individuals involved. Having a properly planned meeting is what leads to having an effective board.

Remember board meetings are more than just business, they are a great time to connect with others, create stronger bonds, unity, and have a clear and unified direction for the nonprofit. It is excellent for internal PR and other various things.

Even the best off-board members are rendered useless if they are not properly engaged, inspired, and put to use. Take those brilliant minds that you have gathered and put them to use the way that they were meant to be and don’t let these board meetings go to waste! 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *