How to Run a Board Meeting

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hey folks this is Steve with nonprofit

Ally and today's video is going to be

about running your board meetings

recently got a couple emails from some

listeners of my podcast who wanted to

know it one question was what do we talk

about at our meetings what are we

supposed to talk about when we run our

board meetings the other question was

how can I run a more efficient board

meeting this particular listener their

board meetings were were basically two

hours of of nothingness they would

finish their board meeting and they

would be like what did we accomplish I

don't feel like I know what I'm supposed

to be doing now right and I've

definitely been in that position where

I've had those two our board meetings

where people just sidetrack the long in

the meeting you got done with the

meeting you're just like what did we

accomplish here and and that can be

frustrating for board members it can be

struck frustrating for any staff you may

have because you leave board meetings

with with really nothing accomplished no

direction and and and some people just

feel like the waste of time and so what

we're going to do today is we're going

to outline your board agenda agendas are

very important because one it gives

structure to your meeting it gives the

people in the meeting this is what we'll

be talking about this is the order we're

going to be talking about it in and for

pretty much if you have a good chair of

your board a good edie or a good board

president whoever's running your meeting

if you have a good person running that

meeting they'll make sure you stick to

the agenda and when you get off topic

you can be you can direct people back to

the agenda and say look it's not on the

agenda it is important what you're

talking about but let's make sure it

gets on the next agenda but right now

we're going to follow our agenda because

we have a timeline here and topics we

need to discuss ideally your board

meetings could be an hour long if you

follow agenda you stick the topics you

can go through your board agenda

assigned tasks and duties get your

reports done in an hour wouldn't that be


so if that's the goal here so here is

the basic structure and this board

agenda this is a you know you can get

more complex than this you could

simplify it even more but here's a basic

board meeting agenda and it pretty much

Robert's Rules recommends a lot of what

we're going to be told

about so first thing you want to do and

before we even get started there will be

a template board meeting agenda for you

to download the link will be below in

the notes to this video now so you're

starting your board your board meeting

the first thing you do is you call that

meeting to order it may seem kind of

silly to be you know bang a gavel and go

hey folks we are calling this meeting to

order but by doing so all the side talk

and chatting going on in that book in

the meeting room should stop people will

get ready for the business at hand you

simply just say this meeting has come to


you don't have to have a gavel or if you

want to be more formal you can say the

meeting of so-and-so nonprofit on this

date and time is now called to order you

say that people will kind of snap up the

lick okay cool I should get my pen ready

and get ready take some notes here now

once your meeting has been called the

order you should do a roll call a roll

call and the roll call doesn't

necessarily have to be the secretary of

your nonprofit reading everybody's name

and I'm going I or hear hear

governments do that a lot I've

definitely been a government official

where I had to say you know I are here

and but for the most part you know who's

in the room it's in it's you're not in a

public setting your roll call could

simply be the secretary going through

the list of board members and just said

okay we you're here you're here you're

here you're here we are missing a and B

and then pronouncing whether or not you

have a quorum at which point the the

secretary would say we have a quorum and

the meeting can commence if you don't

have a quorum your meeting is over

doesn't mean you have to leave you can

still talk about stuff but there is no

official meeting happening there's no

minutes being taken now once the roll

call has been taken we're assuming you

have a quorum you can go into the

approval of the agenda so you'll have

the agenda there in front of you and the

old business the new business the

committee reports will all be on there

and this is when the the board president

will ask do I have a motion to approve

the agenda

and if for some reason something needs

to be at

or maybe something to be taken off maybe

there's a some new business that

someone's not prepared to present this

is when you can change your agenda it

does have to be voted on and a majority

or whatever constitutes a majority

within your bylaws will then approve the


once the agenda is approved you can move

on to the next thing which is approval

of the minutes your minutes are the

minutes from your last meeting your

secretary took those notes and has

submitted them to the board some boards

will read those minutes

that's tedious I highly recommend

getting the board minutes out to the

board members and just assume that

everyone has read it you get to the

approval of the minutes and unless

there's a change like oh I didn't vote

that way or it was this was documented

wrong the admitted should just get

approved and move on now once the

minutes are approved you're going to go

into the reports the committee report

time some people break this down into

subcategories and I'm going to talk

about that in a second here but for the

most part your committee reports are

your standing committees your finance

committee your personnel committee your

fundraising committee maybe of an events

committee whatever standing committees

that you have have an opportunity now to

give the report they'll give updates on

the the goings ons within their own

committees now some people break these

down even further by including two other

reports within the committee report one

would be the treasurer's report at which

point the treasurer would be giving the

the the monthly profit loss statement

maybe the year-to-date

profit and loss statement along with

your account information the balances of

all the accounts that you have and then

of course taking questions the other

report that is very common at this point

is your executive director or your

manager will also give a report at this

time during the committee report section

of your agenda so you go through each of

those allow for questions and then you

move on everyone's given their reports

you know your financial standing the IDI

is updated you on any programs or events

or correspondence that they had that

we're exciting or neither responding to

now you move into your the business of

your meeting and the business of your

meeting is going to be first you start

with your old business that's the next

thing on your agenda your old business

is stuff that has been talked about in a

previous meeting has been on the

official agenda of a previous meeting

and is now there's a follow-up or

there's a continuation or there's an

update or there's a report that's due or

whatever so you have old business it's a

continued conversation that's going on

it could be old business could be a

grant that you're continuing that update

people on old business could be a

fundraiser that's coming up an event

that's coming up a personnel issue

that's coming up that maybe you're

hiring somebody so old business is at

that stage now you go through the

different topics of old business and

then you go into the new business right

new business is exciting new business is

kind of the icing on the cake but or

your dessert right so you've gone

through your roll call your approval of

the minutes your agenda you're going

through this now you get to the new

business this is what's coming up and

those topics get discussed so maybe you

have a new grant opportunity or a new

board member to introduce whatever it

may be right and so your new business

comes up at this point once you go

through your new business you now can

open it up to comments some of some of

these comments it could be open there

may be publicly or your meeting so the

public has an opportunity to comment or

you can just go through the room of your

board members and everybody has an

opportunity to make comments now these

comments could be pretty much anything

dozen that's be very formal likely it's

going to be board or mission related but

sometimes you might just want to make a

comment about the the birth of a new

child a birthday coming up or whatever

some type of comment like that but for

the most part the comments may be

something like you know I really think

it's important to discuss X Y & Z can we

please put that on the agenda for the

next meeting at which point the chair of

your of your of your board mate okay

cool we'll add that to new business next


so the comments is a little bit of a an

open area an open opportunity for people

to talk about a variety of things it

could just be a kudos to somebody at

which point you're now finished with

your meeting so you can adjourn your

meeting and this does take an official

motion especially if you're especially

if you're following Robert's Rules

someone will motion to adjourn you'll

second that motion and then the meeting

will be over though real quick rundown

of a basic board meeting following

Robert's Rules call the order meeting is

starting roll call make sure you have a

quorum approval of the agenda the agenda

looks great nothing to be added or taken

away approval of the minutes everything

looks fine from the last minutes no

Corrections to be made there now

official reports from your committees

which could include your treasurer and

your IDI report as well as all your

standing committees then you go into

your old business which could be two or

three topics and then on to new business

once the new business is done you go

ahead and have comments open to all

board members there may be no comments

you may be done and finally you adjourn

your meeting all right it's that simple

folks so the key here is to stay on

topic when you're on an agenda item and

it starts to stray into something that's

either not on the agenda or later on in

the agenda it's up to the chair or other

board members to call a point of order

point of order it's simply to say point

of order

hey this topic is discussed under new

business can we wait till then to get

into that let's keep on the topic that

we are on the agenda now typically as

long as you have a good strong chair or

board present or Edie whoever is running

your meeting president then they can

keep everybody on task but sometimes if

the if the chair isn't paying attention

then other board members can simply just

say a point of order that is later on in

the agenda or this is not on the agenda

right now we could add it to the next

agenda that will help keep you strained

I've been on board meetings that have

strayed so off-topic it's hard to even

remember what you're originally talking


so catching that quickly keeps you on

task alright folks that's it for a

simple board meeting agendas again

there'll be a download for you down

there'll be a link down here below click

on that link there'll be a PDF or

probably a Word document there for you

to download thanks so much for watching

folks non profit Ally comm it's a

website where you can find a lot of

information out on starting your

nonprofit funding your nonprofit gaining

awareness for your nonprofit and

building your board we have a podcast

over there as well as a blog so head on

over to non profit la comm thanks so

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thanks folks