Oversight is the board’s responsibility. In the interest of stewardship and gaining the public’s trust, it’s common for nonprofits to maintain a fairly lean budget and keep a good eye on the organization’s finances. For some boards, keeping a lean budget means doing more work so they can spend less. That’s one way to think about it, but have you questioned whether it’s the most efficient approach to your board’s work?
Overhead is necessary for nonprofits, although it’s not the most popular place to spend money. Also, donors are more likely to support programs rather than other types of expenses.
It’s prudent and wise for nonprofit boards to be resourceful but have you considered that pressuring your board to operate on a “lean and mean” basis might mean they’re actually wasting time and money?
The right digital tools create efficiency for nonprofits, just as they do in the corporate world. A small investment in the right boardroom technology allows your board to be agile and operate efficiently. That translates to not being wasteful with time and money.
Nonprofit Boards and Digitalization
Companies, nonprofits, and the general public starting using emails for communication dating back to the 1970s. From there, the technological age went into full swing and lots of valuable software solutions and apps hit the marketplace. During the mid-1990s, many board members opted for Blackberry and PalmPilot devices to keep track of their calendars, take notes, and set up reminders.
It wasn’t very long before electronic apps for mobile phones began to replace other types of handheld devices. Cloud technology brought even more opportunities for corporations and nonprofits. As cloud systems gained in popularity, board members looked for ways to access cloud storage as inexpensively as possible. Other new apps gave board members ways to share large files and sign documents electronically.
All of these tools are very valuable and helpful for boards. They’ve also created a degree of efficiency for boards. So, what’s the downside?
We can count at least four of them:
- The tools most boards are using are siloed, which means board members have to continually log into and out of different programs.
- The tools most boards use weren’t specifically designed for board use.
- The tools most boards are using lack the proper security for compliance.
- The costs of using a wide variety of apps can add up quickly.
At this point, you might be thinking, “What is our board missing?” What your board is missing is an all-in-one boardroom technology solution.
Boardroom Technology: The Solution for Siloed Digital Tools
Boards have many important duties and responsibilities. Most often, they’re also juggling board responsibilities with careers and family responsibilities. When they get down to board business, there’s no time to waste.
Let’s take stock of the types of tools that nonprofit boards are currently using:
- File Sharing
- File storage
- Survey tools
If you asked your board members which tools they wish they had to work more efficiently, they might list one or more of the following:
- The ability to create online board meeting books
- A tool for taking meeting minutes
- Tools that offered greater security
- Tools that offer the ability to set up role-based permissions
- A centralized hub of tools specifically for boards
- An easier way to conduct board self-assessments
With the right boardroom technology, everything on your board’s checklist is entirely possible.
Boardroom Technology: A Centralized Hub of Digital Tools
Disparate tools are sufficient when that’s all you have. Boardroom technology makes it possible to bring all the tools that boards need into a centralized platform that’s expressly designed for the work of nonprofit boards.
A board management system is a secure platform that offers your board the following benefits:
- The ability to create board meeting handbooks completely online regardless of how many or how few pages they contain. Also, your board administrator can easily make changes to board meeting handbooks without any hassle and without wasting time.
- The ability to distribute board meeting handbooks online, saving on shipping and courier costs.
- The ability to store an unlimited number of files. Unlimited cloud file storage ensures that board members know exactly where to find documents when they need them.
- The means to share files securely online with the added benefit of being able to make notes on them, annotate them, or mark them up.
- Having access to a digital tool that streamlines board meeting minutes and makes it possible to easily route the final draft of meeting minutes to all board members electronically for approval.
- Having access to a survey tool that boards can use for their annual self-evaluations and polling board and committee members about other issues.
- Gaining the ability to work remotely. With a fully-contained messaging system, board members can send individual or group emails to others without worrying about security risks. Boards can also use the platform on or offline and log into the platform on any mobile device. It’s the utmost in secure board communication and collaboration.
Ultimately boardroom technology saves your nonprofit time and money because it gives your board members the exact tools they need at the exact time they need them. The right tools streamline your board’s activities before, during, and after board meetings. Everyone knows what they need to do and when they need to do it.
What’s more, cybersecurity is a problem that plagues nonprofit boards. BoardEffect’s board management system offers state-of-the-art security which means that all of your board’s activities are completely secure from cybercrime. As an added feature, BoardEffect offers role-based permissions, so board administrators have complete control over who has access to various parts of the board portal.
Nonprofit boards are responsible for choosing the best resources and using them wisely. Multiple-point solutions are inefficient and costly. The benefits of boardroom technology support your board so they can streamline their activities and work as efficiently as possible. With so much scrutiny facing nonprofit boards, a board management system eliminates the worry over cybersecurity risks.
Overall, digitalization can take your board to the next level by giving your board the tools to perform consistently and reliably. It’s the key to helping your board make the types of smart decisions that drive better outcomes.