How to Create a Good Board Meeting Agenda

If your board meetings are held in person or virtual the agenda is crucial to productive discussions and decisions. Agendas for meetings of the board should be distributed prior to the meeting along with all relevant materials and should allow ample preparation and discussion prior the meeting. This improves productivity and ensures that meetings are efficient and effective.

The first item on the agenda of a board’s meeting should be an order. This can include a welcome by the chairperson or introductions. It could also include reading the vision and mission statement of the organization. It’s also a good time to go over the meeting’s rules and procedures.

The next step is the ratification of previously approved minutes, and then the discussion and review of current committee reports (eg., finance, governance). This section should also contain the executive director’s or CEO’s report on the organizational’s progress as well as an assessment of the financial status.

A designated time slot should be set aside for discussions about strategic planning and the possibility of a closed-door meeting (if necessary) to discuss sensitive or confidential issues as permitted by the organization’s bylaws as well as applicable laws. Also, there should be time for guests to speak and open forums on important agenda items.

Be sure to allow board members to express any concerns or questions during each discussions. If a topic takes the majority of your time, you could either move it to the next board meeting or put it on hold for future consideration. After the meeting, it is best to have an open discussion or forum on new business issues that the board would like to tackle in the future. It could also be an opportunity to make announcements of special significance or congratulate board members or highlight the most significant achievements of the organization.

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