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Beyond Board Books: Implementing Online Portals for Directors

Beyond Board Books: Implementing Online Portals for Directors

The traditional board book is bulky and time consuming to produce. If an organization is shipping them to its board members, they are costly as well. Fortunately, there’s a much better alternative.

Many organizations have developed means for communicating with their board members electronically before, after and during meetings. Some are relying on email messages while others have advanced to the point where they’ve implemented web pages or online portals (communities) for their boards.

For instance in April, the Special Libraries Association announced the launch of a web page that serves as a portal to key board initiatives, actions and decisions. This page will serve as the primary resource for facts and documentation related to board activities.

Similarly, Operation Snowball recently launched a portal for its board of directors. The launch of the portal was one of the goals outlined in the organization’s 2014-2015 business plan.

Certainly, we think the creation of board-of-director portals is a step in the right direction for associations. We had this thought in mind when we developed the committees feature of MemberNation.

It facilitates the management of all your committees and even your board from the private online community. Committee members can enjoy private discussions, share meeting minutes and documents and manage their calendars.

If your association hasn’t yet taken the step to create a portal for your board members, Idealware offers some good suggestions about what components you should evaluate when considering your options:

  • Tools for creating the package of documents to be reviewed at a particular meeting
  • Central management of organizational documents
  • Electronic distribution of materials to all board members, to a specific committee, or to selected individuals
  • Defined access to materials, with user-level access to allow support staff to see appropriate materials without access to confidential sections of the portal
  • Ability to take notes online as board members review meeting packets and access these notes during meetings

As it has done in some many other areas of organizations, technology can take association boards beyond the basics, so they can concentrate on strategy and planning for the future.

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