Data breaches. Staffing challenges. Economic uncertainty. Changing compliance legislation.
With all these issues and more to consider in a rapidly changing environment, nonprofit board members must have a thorough knowledge of what’s impacting their nonprofits — operationally, financially and reputationally. Even more importantly, they need to understand their role in supporting the organization and how they can be more effective.
So how do you keep board members up-to-date with their responsibilities, as well as the latest risks and regulations that need to be on their radars?
The answer is strategic training that guides them through key aspects of their role, from orientation to DEI education. Effective training will help them understand the legal and ethical responsibilities that come with their role. It will also give them key insights to help build strong relationships with the executive director, staff and volunteers.
If providing in-depth, up-to-date training that meets all these needs sounds daunting, there’s good news. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming — if you have the tools to help.
As the pace of risk and regulations picks up, technology can be your best friend, helping you stay ahead of training requirements and keep your board aligned on key issues.
Why Nonprofit Board Training?
When it comes to educating your board, you have to make training a priority. Without setting clear expectations for board members’ responsibilities and your nonprofit’s values, your organization risks becoming misaligned and misdirected. If the board is disengaged, you won’t be able to make the best decisions for your organization or the people you serve.
At the same time, you also need to consider the costly issues that could arise from noncompliance or conflicts of interests. A board member who doesn’t know the proper requirements for staying compliant in your nonprofit’s sector, or one who has a significant, undisclosed conflict of interest, could inadvertently harm your organization’s reputation or incur costly legal fines.
With all this in mind, you need to stay ahead of board member training and make sure you have the right resources readily available. Ensuring the board is educated and up-to-date on current goals, regulations and responsibilities will help your entire nonprofit stay on-mission, efficient and effective.
Here’s How Technology Can Optimize Your Board Training
Throughout the time that a board member serves with your organization, you’ll need to provide thorough compliance training that helps them understand your mission and ensures legal and ethical integrity.
Let’s explore how technology can help you equip board directors with everything they need to know to be successful.
1. Onboarding and Orientation
How you introduce a new board member to their responsibilities with your nonprofit is critical. You set the tone for their engagement in the future and lay the foundation to help them understand their role in your mission. You’ll want to cover key topics like your organization’s history and values, an overview of your board structure, and your calendar for the upcoming year.
So how can technology help? Through a board management solution, you can provide key onboarding documents to bring them quickly up-to-speed as well as easily access scheduling details and resources that will strengthen your new board member’s understanding of your nonprofit. You can also make signing any key documents easy and secure through your online platform.
2. Cyber Risk Training
Cybersecurity is a massive risk for organizations today, and the threat is only rising. Cyberattacks are impacting more and more nonprofits, with costly data breaches exposing confidential data and compromising the entire organization’s operations. You need to make sure that your board members recognize the dangers and know best practices for cyber hygiene.
With a board management solution, you can make this process easier with a secure platform that equips them to make smart and safe choices. Put critical cybersecurity compliance updates and resources at their fingertips with a solution that makes documentation and data searches easy for all users. Not only that, but the right platform also keeps communication between board members secure while storing key board documents safely. After all, there’s no more important information than board-level data.
As a company firmly committed to modern governance, we understand the substantial disruption that the challenges of a major crisis can present for governing bodies. To help governance leaders navigate through the uncharted waters and prepare for future crises, we’ve put together a Crisis Management Toolkit with core considerations and guidelines, tips and best practices to implement immediately. Download your copy now!
3. Conflict of Interest Training
Avoiding conflicts of interest is critical to make sure your organization is above-board. As a nonprofit, you have a range of potential challenges to consider, as your board members could have ties to numerous other entities that could impact their votes on key issues.
To accurately disclose any potential issues, board members must thoroughly understand the different ways they could be involved in a conflict of interest — and know how to communicate it properly. Board management technology can make this easier with features like survey capabilities that enable members to self-evaluate and flag potential concerns.
4. Regulatory Training
The specific sector that your not-for-profit organization serves most likely has unique compliance requirements that you must meet to continue your work. As new regulations constantly emerge, your board needs to know what’s happening and understand your nonprofits’ responsibilities to stay compliant.
Keep your board members up-to-date on the latest regulations with accessible resources through your board management platform. Choose a solution that enables users to easily access current regulations in a configurable library with secure documentation storage.
5. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training
A core part of your values as an organization should be embracing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and your board members will need to understand that. Equip them to engage with varied perspectives and support a more inclusive environment with the right training.
With technology, you can make DEI education more accessible and trackable. You can ensure that the board has easy access to critical resources through a secure, online platform. Additionally, you’ll be able to quickly generate customizable reports on your DEI initiatives and progress to ensure accountability.
Empower Effective Board Training with BoardEffect
Are you ready to harness the power of technology for board training?
BoardEffect is designed with the unique needs of volunteer boards in mind. Our nonprofit board management software streamlines board processes, enhances communication and promotes accountability. You’ll get the capabilities for training board members so they can be compliant in their duties but also more effective to help achieve organizational goals:
- Seamless decision-making: Track and sign key documents, all in one secure platform that protects your nonprofit’s sensitive data.
- Accessible data: Keyword search capabilities give trustees instant access to all information at their fingertips to make them more effective.
- Configurable library: BoardEffect’s library is configurable with no limit or charge for the amount of data stored. Easily create folders to store role and responsibilities documents, handbooks, policies, articles of association, mission statements and even videos.
- Customizable reporting: Custom reports on BoardEffect easily allow for gathering information for succession planning, reporting on DEI and much more. Reports can exported to PDF and Excel.
- Convenient survey capabilities: BoardEffect survey tools allow for board members’ self-evaluations, as well as for trustee evaluations and conflict of interest assessments. And like the reporting features, results can be exported into PDF & Excel.
Want to learn more about how BoardEffect can work for you? Request a demo today.