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Why Should Not-for-profit Boards Consider a Board Portal?

Not-for-profit boards share many of the same responsibilities as corporate boards and they have a few additional responsibilities as well. Like corporate boards, not-for-profits are responsible for managing budgets, compliance and overall decision-making. In their role on the board, board members have fiduciary duties. Their main duties are the same as those of any other board: strategic planning and oversight. One of the newest and most serious issues that boards have to contend with is cybersecurity.

The duties already noted are only part of not-for-profit boards’ duties. In addition, they spend a good deal of time on fundraising and on training and managing volunteers. Marketing, awareness and aligning their activities with the cause are also major activities on which not-for-profit boards spend a fair amount of their time. Not-for-profit boards may employ some amount of staff and they usually have lots of volunteers as well.

The many duties and responsibilities of not-for-profit boards are becoming increasingly difficult to manage without the help of technology.

Related whitepaper: Making the Business Case for a Governance Management Solution

Board Portals for Not-for-profits Provide Many Benefits

When people, organisations and foundations are supporting a not-for-profit, they want assurance that the not-for-profit is working efficiently and that they’re not wasting their money.

Board portals for not-for-profits are one way to manage meeting tasks and other board tasks as efficiently as possible. Board directors can set up a board management software program like BoardEffect to create agendas and compile board books electronically. This means that not-for-profit boards will save on the expense of ink cartridges, paper, notebooks and the cost of shredding documents. It also means that board directors will save many hours of paid or volunteer time needed to organise, print, collate and distribute board books. The portal reduces costs and overhead as much as possible, and there’s never a need to reprint entire board books because of last-minute meeting agenda changes.

The software organises time and materials for board members by using automation to keep track of meeting cycles, annual cycles and development cycles and to ensure that board members address their responsibilities within those cycles. BoardEffect’s board portal software supports modern governance best practices within and across each cycle of board activity.

Many of the duties that board members got used to doing manually can now be done in half the time, if not less, using board management software. The program automates tracking and accountability for the board’s action items. With the software handling many of the board’s duties automatically, it frees board directors up to spend more time on strategic planning, oversight, fundraising and other important duties.

To help with security, BoardEffect’s board portal allows board administrators to set up granular user permissions to allow officers access to various committees and other groups and to allow committees to work with each other. Also, officers and executive committees can keep their communications confidential from those who don’t need to have that access.

Not-for-profit board directors usually serve on their boards as volunteers. Since their time is often stretched thin, convenience and mobility are important issues. Board members can access BoardEffect software using any electronic device anywhere in the world. BoardEffect software makes it possible for not-for-profit board directors to collaborate across the miles around the clock. The convenience of technology makes it possible for board directors to connect more often between board meetings.

Much of the work for not-for-profit boards occurs in the committees. A secure online platform with the ability to set user permissions is the perfect platform for the nominating, fundraising, executive, public relations and any other committee.

Related article: The Importance of Budgeting for a Board Portal

Not-for-profit Board Directors Need Secure Communication and File-Sharing Capabilities

BoardEffect is a dedicated online space in which board members can share their calendars and communicate within the security of a platform that’s more secure than personal email account platforms.

The portal offers unlimited document storage in the cloud for copies of the agenda, meeting minutes, financial reports, committee reports, founding documents and all other important documents. The program gives board members the advantage of being able to annotate documents and approve them using e-signatures.

While not-for-profit organisations aren’t required to do annual self-evaluations, best practices for good corporate governance encourage it. The survey feature allows facilitators to set up various types of questions to get accurate insights about board performance, which will help with succession planning. The online survey tool is also a good way to assess conflicts of interest and to probe the board’s opinions on nearly any issue. Boards can save the surveys and reuse them or update them as necessary.

Related whitepaper: Running an Effective Board Meeting

Board Portals Help to Provide Transparency and Accountability for Stakeholders and Donors  

Board portals for not-for-profits provide a secure system for not-for-profits to secure financial data and other information about donors. Not-for-profit boards may collect tax information or other personal information when setting up memberships or processing donors.

Not-for-profit also may collect sensitive information on their clients. BoardEffect offers robust security with extra encryption and other state-of-the-art security enhancements. Boards and donors can rest assured that their data is safe. With no worries about data breaches, nonprofit boards can put their time and effort into other important matters. Strong security provides peace of mind for board members, stakeholders and donors, which helps to strengthen trust and protect the not-for-profit’s reputation.

Related article: Why a Board Portal will improve the performance of your Not-for-profit Board

Not-for-profits Enter the Era of Modern Governance

Not-for-profit boards continue to experience great pressure from regulatory and legal authorities about issues of ethics and integrity. There is a lot of responsibility for not-for-profit boards and organisations in this era of modern governance.

In today’s world, board governance is complex, demanding and high stakes. Not-for-profit boards need to take a modern approach to governing their boards, which will power effective decision-making and drive successful outcomes. A board portal for not-for-profits gives board members the tools they need to ensure efficiency and effectiveness without compromising security. The BoardEffect platform will serve not-for-profit boards well now, and in the future, as it alleviates many of the risks that are associated with outdated, manual, paper-based processes.

BoardEffect is the modern way for not-for-profit boards to manage modern governance problems.

Related article: Staying Cyber Aware in a Crisis: Smart Tips for Not-for-profit Boards

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