What’s the difference between an unproductive non-profit board meeting and an effective non-profit board meeting? The board meeting agenda and the board chair who uses it.
The agenda is the board chair’s most important tool. When a non-profit board meeting agenda is written well, it helps the board chair to make fast decisions about managing agenda items. An experienced board chair knows that items on the agenda signal some type of action from the board. When an agenda item is not ready for the board to take action, it signals the board chair to remove or table the item from the agenda, or move it to a committee for further discussion and exploration.
A well-planned agenda helps the board chair keep the meeting focused on the strategic planning of the mission and prevents members from derailing the meeting with tangents and disruptions.