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Effective Governance For Mission-driven Organizations

Secure and efficient governance for mission-driven organisations


In the world of mission-driven organisations (MDOs), defining and measuring success goes beyond financial metrics. With diverse stakeholder groups and growing expectations around environmental, social and governance (ESG), equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), cybersecurity and other intangible goals, MDOs face a unique challenge in demonstrating their impact.

In a landscape characterised by constant disruption, an engaged and active board is crucial for adapting to rapid change. The right board management platform empowers boards with meaningful information, automates communication and provides easy access to essential resources, fostering a culture of engagement and motivation.

Moreover, with the increasing demand for accountability and transparency, MDOs must prioritise data-driven metrics and objective governance practices. By embracing technologies that facilitate secure and efficient data management, MDOs can effectively measure and communicate their impact to stakeholders, building trust and confidence in their mission.

Here, we explore four key strategies for optimising MDO governance through technology-enabled solutions. By focusing on data security, streamlined communication, effortless onboarding and effective board engagement, MDOs can enhance collaboration, transparency and decision-making.

1. Data security: Safeguarding key information

Safeguarding sensitive data is also of utmost importance especially with the continued growth of cyber threats. With various stakeholders accessing confidential information, such as board members, executive teams and staff, it becomes imperative to establish robust data security measures. Board management software plays a pivotal role in ensuring data integrity by providing granular permissions, user-friendly interfaces and advanced cybersecurity protocols.

BoardEffect, a Diligent brand, exemplifies these security features by adhering to the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, offering state-of-the-art protection against cyber threats.

As Kara Klement, Director of Governance at Texas Health Resources, states, “We utilise the Resource Library to securely share documentation with board members. By implementing strict safety measures, we ensure that every document has the appropriate permissions, accessible only to authorised individuals.”

“By implementing strict safety measures, we ensure that every document has the appropriate permissions, accessible only to authorised individuals.” –  Kara Klement, Director of Governance at Texas Health Resources

2. Streamlined communication: Fostering collaboration and efficiency

Effective communication lies at the heart of successful MDO operations. However, informal communication channels, such as one-on-one calls, texts and emails, pose risks to data security and hinder collaboration. Board management software offer a centralised solution, providing a secure space for board members and executive leadership to connect, communicate and collaborate.

These solutions facilitate the seamless exchange of relevant documents and information, ensuring that all board members have access to crucial discussions and decisions. Moreover, they automatically store and organise board communications, adhering to regulatory requirements and preventing critical information from slipping through the cracks. Streamlined communication also extends to sending reminders, tracking the status of projects and bolstering fundraising efforts through a secure, up-to-date ‘single source of truth’.

Amy Reid, Corporate Secretary/Executive Assistant at VMI Alumni Agencies, affirms, “Since adopting BoardEffect, all boards and committees operate cohesively in a common space. We’ve witnessed the transformative power of technology in fostering unity and collaboration.”

3. Effortless onboarding: Empowering new board members

The onboarding process plays a pivotal role in integrating new board members into the MDO’s mission and culture. A well-structured onboarding program ensures that new members receive a warm welcome and the necessary resources to contribute effectively.

Establishing a formal mentoring relationship with an experienced board member extends beyond the initial information exchange, providing ongoing support and guidance. Access to relevant information, training resources and centralised document libraries empowers new members to quickly catch up and participate meaningfully.

Elizabeth Thompson, Executive Assistant to the President & Corporate Secretary at Presbyterian SeniorCare Network, shares her positive experience with using BoardEffect for putting together a self-guided and virtual onboarding process. She highlights the feedback received from new members, stating, “One new trustee remarked, ‘This was the best orientation I ever had.'”

4. Engaging board members: Fueling motivation and impact

An engaged and active board is essential for MDOs to thrive in today’s rapidly changing landscape. Effective board engagement requires a combination of meaningful communication and relevant information. The right board management platform supports this engagement by providing intuitive reporting tools and dashboards that extract valuable insights from data.

Board members receive timely and pertinent information, including project updates, upcoming responsibilities and celebratory messages. Purpose-built communication tools automate the creation and distribution of board communications, ensuring a consistent flow of compelling information without overwhelming manual efforts.

Easy access to essential resources, such as meeting minutes, schedules, reports and more, further enhances board member engagement by removing barriers to participation.

As Carissa Burgett, Assistant to the President & Board Administrator at PA Chamber of Business and Industry, advises, “Keep your approach simple, thorough and easy to understand. Consistency is key!”

“Keep your approach simple, thorough and easy to understand. Consistency is key!” –  Carissa Burgett, Assistant to the President & Board Administrator at PA Chamber of Business and Industry

A forward-looking strategy to position your MDO for success

Mission-driven organisations face unique challenges in defining and measuring their impact. However, by adopting technology-enabled solutions that prioritize data security, streamlined communication, effortless onboarding and effective board engagement, MDOs can position themselves for greater success.

Board management software, such as BoardEffect, empowers MDOs to enhance collaboration, transparency and decision-making, ultimately driving greater impact and fulfilling their missions.

To read more on this, download our guide to optimising your mission-driven organisation’s governance and learn how your board can extend your organisation’s reach and deepen your impact.

Grow your knowledge and connections at Elevate 2024

Join us for Elevate 2024 (formerly Modern Governance Summit) in Houston this September 8-11, 2024. As the premier gathering for industry leaders, innovators and governance experts, this year’s summit aims to equip administrators, governance professionals and board members with insights and expertise on how to use our solutions effectively to thrive in an ever-evolving landscape.

With opportunities to earn continuing education credits and make valuable connections with your peers, there’s every reason to secure your spot now. Prepare to be inspired by industry leaders and gain invaluable insights and equip yourself and your team to make the most of Diligent product features.

Whether you represent a multi-national or a public sector agency or a nonprofit organisation, Elevate 2024 promises to be a transformative event that will leave a lasting impact on your institution. This is your once-a-year opportunity to elevate your governance and learn about the Diligent One Platform designed to help you easily centralise your entire GRC practice with a suite of governance, audit, risk and compliance solutions.

Register today to secure your spot at Elevate 2024.

Ellen Glasgow

Ellen Glasgow serves as General Manager, Mission Driven Organizations for Diligent Corporation, the leader in modern governance providing SaaS solutions across governance, risk, compliance, audit and ESG. In her role, Ellen oversees the commercial team, which includes new and expansion sales, marketing, and sales development for the Diligent Governance solutions that support Mission Driven Organizations (Nonprofits, Associations, Education, Community Healthcare & Government).

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