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Why You Should Always Use Your Board Software For Secure Board Communications
Why you should always use your board software for secure board communications

Why you should always use your board software for secure board communication


Ineffective communication efforts can result in stalled or ineffective decision making, wasted time and effort, not to mention potential cyber security threats. Without efficient and consistent communications channels, board members can become confused, frustrated or, even worse, disengaged from their governance roles.

The impact of ineffective communication avenues and protocols also can extend to community members, volunteers, business partners, donors and funders. They may perceive poor or haphazard communication among board members as a lack of accountably or transparency.

A board’s ability to communicate can make or break a nonprofit’s success, according to Brighter Strategies. Clear communication is essential for the smooth running of the board and the organization. And one tool that helps with board communication? Your board software.

Starting new trustees on the right path

When new board members of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry start, board administrator Carissa Burgett makes sure they understand that all board communications will come through the Chamber’s board management software, BoardEffect.

The software simplifies the process of notifying the chamber’s board of 62 top CEOs and C-suite executives of meeting dates and changes. It is the board’s single source for information, so the members and their assistants don’t have to search through old emails for notifications, meeting minutes and other documents. For such a large board and its layers of committees and subsidiary boards, consistent communication across all meeting groups is essential to keep the board running effectively.

Not all communication channels are created equal

Nonprofit and mission-driven boards have many options when it comes to communicating among members and with administrators. Not all of those options are the best when it comes to board work.

Digital communications in the form of emails, texts, voicemail and messaging apps are all ways people are accustomed to communicating in their personal and professional lives. However, not all of these channels are secure for sharing sensitive data that nonprofit boards work with so it’s crucial that the data is kept safe.

Most nonprofit board members are volunteers, they have other jobs and careers. They bring diverse experiences, knowledge and skills to their board roles. Some may have business associates or assistants helping them with their board work; others are doing the work without this support. Regardless of background or abilities, all board members need to use the safest and the most efficient ways to communicate.

Email or messaging apps are just not the ideal solution

Yes, emails and other messaging tools are a standard of business communication nowadays, however, depending on these as the primary avenue of board communication presents many challenges. First, board work involves discussions about sensitive information; email or social media messaging apps are not secure and can be vulnerable to cyberattacks and hacking.

Second, spam filters can prevent email from getting through in a timely manner. Groups on messaging apps are ‘noisy’ places. Board members may not receive critical updates about meeting changes and other events. This leads to delays in setting agendas, preparing efficiently for meetings and other impacts on decisions.

In addition, searching through old emails to find needed information also wastes time and energy for board members. An easy-to-search online library with board agendas, past minutes, actions and other information makes the same information available to all board members at the same time.

Finally, as we all know, it’s all too easy to accidentally send an email to the wrong person. It’s also very time-consuming and challenging for board administrators to manage email groups for multiple boards. So moving to a secure solution that helps streamline and avoid these issues is a real plus.

Bringing this diverse group together to work as a unified team requires communications tools that go beyond email and texts.

Board software benefits for communications

Board management software like BoardEffect can overcome the challenges of communicating to board members. Using the solution as the sole source of trusted information means that all board members can access the information they need when they need it and they know it is the most up-to-date information too.

This central hub holds updates, reminders, agendas and materials – everything board members need to come to board and committee meetings, ready and prepared to discuss the issues at hand and make sound decisions.

Board software also makes committee and subcommittee meetings easier, enhancing collaboration among board members, who can work on projects together at the same time or at the convenience of the members. Members can leave notes for each other on their joint documents and work in shared private spaces online together.

Unlike email, board management software is secure against cyberattacks, so it’s safe to communicate and store sensitive information such as human resources reports, financial information or even legal cases.

Since the board work is being done through the central hub, board members are more accountable to each other and to their community members. Data and information about the organization can be compiled and shared through the hub helping to identify and support potential partners, volunteers and donors.

Managing email lists for board members, working groups and committees becomes a straightforward quick task for board administrators.

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry also saw an uptick in engagement from its busy board members after putting BoardEffect in place. Board members’ RSVPs for meetings are tracked in the platform, so all the members can see who has replied and who might be the holdup for reaching a quorum, adding a layer of accountability for board members.

Board communication do’s and don’ts


  • Prepare for meetings by making sure you access the most up-to-date agendas and meeting minutes.
  • Read all communications on board business and stay up to date on notifications, changes, and schedules.
  • Follow communication protocols, such as having the board president for the head administrator act as spokesperson for the entire board.
  •  Use your board management software to communicate with board colleagues, administrators and key staff.
  • Learn everything you can about how to use your board software to enhance your ability to serve as a board member.


  • Skip training offered by board administrators.
  • Use inappropriate channels to discuss board matters – always be cyber risk conscious.
  • Delay responding to messages about board business, such as whether you’ll be attending a meeting, as you can inadvertently hold up decision-making.
  • Fail to engage with fellow board members regularly to enhance your relationships.

The best software to support board communications

An effective board management solution makes communications among board members easy and secure. BoardEffect offers secure communication channels, ensuring that sensitive discussions and information are kept confidential. Secure messages can be sent by board administrators through the software to board members. Trustees can communicate and collaborate with fellow board members and administrators securely and safely.

BoardEffect streamlines the creation, distribution and tracking of meeting agendas and related documents. Board members have what they need at their fingertips rather than searching through numerous emails and trying to find the latest version. Real-time updates and notifications ensure that board members and administrative staff receive key information promptly.

Board members can also access collaborative tools such as workrooms, discussions, polls, surveys, tasks and schedulers. They can use annotation tools to make private or shared annotations to meeting materials including “sticky notes,” drawing and highlighting, helping trustees to be better prepared for meetings.

BoardEffect provides innovative boardroom technology to nonprofit organizations. As a Diligent brand helping to serve over 14,000 mission-driven organizations, we empower boards with the tools to drive positive change. Our secure board management software helps to streamline operations, enhance governance practices and enable confident decision-making.

With BoardEffect, mission-driven organizations can unlock potential, accelerate mission delivery and make a lasting impact in their communities. Find out for yourself how BoardEffect works by requesting a demo.


BoardEffect, as a Diligent brand, helps to serve more than 14,000 mission-driven organizations globally.

Ed Rees

Ed is a seasoned professional with over 12 years of experience in the Governance space, where he has collaborated with a diverse range of organizations. His passion lies in empowering these entities to optimize their operations through the strategic integration of technology, particularly in the realms of Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC).

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