The latest advancements in technology have given not-for-profit boards many tools that increase their capability and functionality. With so many apps and programs available, it’s easy to get bogged down in searching for the right boardroom technology. New tools and processes that support board work are emerging, and they offer the added benefits of saving costs and creating efficiency for your not-for-profit.
Conventional office software and run-of-the-mill email platforms work well enough for general use but be aware that they weren’t designed for the security and intricacies of not-for-profit board work. Apps and programs that are free and convenient aren’t always the best choices for not-for-profit boards.
As with any job, it’s important to choose the right tools for the task at hand. Why not start out in 2021 with the right boardroom technology?
Related article: Re-Evaluating Your Not-for-profit Budget for Board Technology
The Right Boardroom Technology Creates Efficiency and Manages Risks for 2021
As your not-for-profit looks forward to a better year in 2021, it’s a good idea to take a look back at some of the issues that not-for-profit boards faced in the last several years and determine how boardroom technology can help you overcome past challenges and manage future risks.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the challenging issues not-for-profit boards have to contend with:
- Cybersecurity. Not-for-profits tend to have fewer resources to protect their data from viruses, malware, and hackers. Cybercriminals know this and put not-for-profits in the category of low-hanging fruit, making them prime targets for cybercrime.
- Human error. Antiquated, manual processes have always posed the risk of human error. It’s easy to make mistakes when writing or typing things manually. A small mistake can easily change the meaning of data or cause issues with regulatory compliance. In either case, there’s the subsequent risk of reputational damage to your not-for-profit.
- Physical storage. Paper documents take up lots of space in your not-for-profit facility. Having boxes or file cabinets sitting around poses physical risks due to age, flooding, fire, or animal infestation.
- Efficiency. Standard manual processes cost boards time, and wasted time means losing money. Donors and other stakeholders expect boards to lead not-for-profits in efficient ways so they can make the best use of resources.
- Costs. Excessive costs for administration and staffing can gobble up funds, even when donations are high. Donors are apt to give more and give longer when they have the assurance that boards are reducing costs whenever they can.
The news isn’t all bad, though. A board management system helps not-for-profits overcome the big barriers and challenges that not-for-profit boards are sure to face in 2021. With that in mind, let’s explore the top features for not-for-profit boardroom technology for the coming year.
Related article: Setting Not-for-profit Board Expectations & Increasing Effectiveness
What Are the Top Features for Not-for-profit Boardroom Technology in 2021?
As we look to the future, several features stand out as the most valuable enhancements for work in the boardroom. What’s even better is that your board can leverage all of them by implementing board management technology through the use of a board portal system.
- Easy to install and easy to use. BoardEffect’s platform is easy to install. You get a free demo and the availability of 24/7 support, as well as helpful webinars to train your board members on the system.
- Mobile access.Not-for-profit board members are busy people who are always on the go. Often, they need to do board business outside of the boardroom. One of the top features of boardroom technology is the ability to use the board portal on any electronic device at any time.
- Online board meeting handbooks. Traditional paper board meeting handbooks are cumbersome and unwieldy. They also pose the risk of pages getting lost or stolen. Online board books are easy to upload and download. Board members can easily add notes, annotations, and markups and share them securely with other board members.
- Secure file storage. With a board portal, there’s no need to store paper documents in a file cabinet that’s inaccessible to board members when they need it. Your board can store all documents using unlimited cloud-based storage.
- Secure file sharing. No matter where board members are, they can send files to one board member or many within seconds and know they’re secure along the way.
- Board survey tools. Best practices for not-for-profit governance suggest that boards do annual board self-evaluations. Self-evaluation questionnaires are time-consuming to develop and even more timely to conduct. BoardEffect includes a built-in survey feature that makes it easy to send out polls and questionnaires online which will inspire board members to complete and return them in a timely manner.
- Online calendar. The online calendar is accessible to all board members where they can see all board meetings, committee meetings, and other events at a glance.
- Online tool for meeting minutes. Another valuable tool for 2021 boards is an electronic tool for recording meeting minutes. The software makes it easy to record minutes during the meeting, get them approved shortly after the meeting, and store them securely. This is a tool that supports good governance and compliance.
- Electronic signature. Rather than pass a sheet of paper around the boardroom, board members can electronically sign documents on their computer or tablet right in front of them while everyone is present. If the bylaws allow, they can also electronically sign documents remotely.
- Granular permissions. The board administrator can easily set up permissions for access to the appropriate parts of the board portal to keep board business fully secure. This feature also helps protect board business as board members and committee members join and leave the board.
- A board portal provider that is an industry leader and has a strong reputation for quality. BoardEffect was founded in 2007 and quickly became an industry leader in board management software. From the earliest days, BoardEffect continues to be committed to state-of-the-art security. You can count on your data to be encrypted while it’s being stored, while it’s at rest, and as it gets sent to mobile devices.
All tools and features are contained in one convenient and easy-to-use board portal platform. BoardEffect offers you a fully integrated set of features that were specifically designed to support good governance practices in the most secure way possible. It’s the right start to the best features that technology has to offer boards in 2021.
Related article: The Board’s Role in Developing a Strategy Plan for a Not-for-profit
Learn more about BoardEffect’s solutions and how they compare to other board management tools:
Board Portal Technology Buyer’s Guide
This guide is your go-to source for understanding what to look for in a board portal and how to reap the most benefits. Read on to learn about important board portal evaluation criteria such as:
- Focus on governance
- Features & functions
- Assessing ease of use
- Security capabilities
- Considerations for value