In today’s fast-paced world, volunteer boards play a crucial role in the decision-making processes of various organizations, from nonprofits to credit unions to community healthcare. One vital aspect of their operations is maintaining comprehensive and accurate meeting minutes.
However, manual minute-taking can be time-consuming and prone to errors. This is where technology comes into play, offering a streamlined solution to efficiently record, organize and distribute board meeting minutes.
In this article, we will explore how leveraging appropriate technology can not only simplify the minute-taking process but also enhance collaboration, data security and overall board effectiveness, enabling volunteer boards to focus more on driving positive change within their communities.
How Technology Helps to Streamline Minute-Taking
Technology helps to streamline minute-taking for boards of directors because it pre-populates and automates much of the board secretary’s work. Minute-taking software allows secretaries to schedule board meetings and easily send out invitations electronically, which usually results in getting faster RSVPs.
Knowing who is coming and who will be absent makes it easier for board secretaries to prepare for meetings. Board secretaries can even use the software to take attendance once meetings begin.
With software solutions for minute-taking, board secretaries begin taking minutes with an existing electronic template. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel at each board meeting. Board management software solutions for taking minutes follow the board agenda.
Manual processes make it difficult for minute-takers to reorder agenda items if necessary. Software solutions use drag-and-drop technology to rearrange agenda and minute items within seconds. Secretaries can type notes right into the agenda software and use them to easily create minutes that are accurate, timely and professional in record time.
Once the meeting minutes have been completed, they’re ready for board approval. The platform organizes and archives meeting minutes for secure safekeeping in the cloud.
Streamlining Documents for Minutes and Actions
Software solutions for board management keep important documents all in one place, where they are easily accessible by all who need them. Minute-takers can easily refer to any of the following documents during a meeting and attach them to board minutes electronically:
- Charters and other organizational documents
- Lists of subsidiaries
- Banking records
- Financial agreements
- Listings of board directors
- Meeting minutes
Software solutions for board management also make it easier for board directors to keep track of and automate action items.
Board secretaries will find that software solutions for board meeting minutes help them create agendas and board books faster, easier and with far less expense than using paper-based or manual processes. As a board secretary creates an agenda, other board members can view it online and in real time so they can suggest changes before the meeting starts.
Technology Also Supports Security
Cyber threats and cybersecurity are board-level issues where the fiduciary responsibilities of board directors come into play. In the event of a data breach or other security-related incident, courts will become interested in the actions that the board took to protect their organization.
Board management software solutions make it possible for board members to conduct their duties safely inside one network without risking the danger of being connected with outside platforms that have less robust security measures.
Board administrators can also assign user permissions to various parts of the board portal to protect confidentiality.
Board meeting minutes are an important component to legal investigations, as they may be entered as evidence. Board minutes can show that the board spent adequate time discussing cyber risk, as well as record and document that the board evaluated technological solutions for preventing data breaches. In making determinations of due diligence by the board, courts may consider whether boards took advantage of software solutions to protect the organization and preserve their work and minutes.
Those who take minutes should be aware that board minutes should reflect the true intentions of board directors. Board software elevates the board’s performance. The process is user-friendly and intuitive, which means that anyone serving as minute-taker will find it a rewarding and edifying experience.
What to Look for in Software Solutions for Board Minute-Taking
Boards should look for a variety of things in the products and in the suppliers when choosing a board management solution. You’ll want to choose one with useful features that you’ll use often and on an ongoing basis.
Select a product that fully integrate with other software solutions that your organization uses for the maximum possible benefit. Look for indications that the product was designed with board purposes in mind.
In addition to looking at a software solution for board management, it’s also important to look at the company that provides and services the product. Do some research and find out if the company is an industry leader. Look for clues that the software is innovative and that the company has made changes and updates to keep pace with changing times.
The best companies will continue to update their products and evolve with changes in the business and nonprofit worlds. Examine the level of customer service. The best software companies offer 24/7 expertise around the clock and are available 365 days per year.
Boards look for ways that software solutions can help them control information and improve their processes. Top considerations are security and simplicity for directors in preparing and distributing meeting minutes. Convenience, mobility and intuitiveness run a close second to what board directors expect in minute-taking software.
BoardEffect can help. Designed specifically for volunteer boards, our board management software can help support minute-taking for meetings. It also helps you streamline key processes like material distribution, and promotes accountability for all members of the board.