Working as a volunteer director on a not-for-profit organization’s board is a rewarding experience for many who want to give their time and skills to a charitable or community cause, but anyone who has done it before can attest to the multiple challenges facing not-for-profit organizations and their directors. Not-for-profits with limited budgets channel most of their resources into their charitable work, sometimes meaning their staff are stretched to operate as effectively as they could with better technology.
One of the most common challenges facing not-for-profit staff is distributing information for the board that directors rely on to make informed and effective decisions. Information is often lost as a mix of paper books are couriered and emails are sent, sometimes repeatedly, and often not all directors are given the same information. Board software is a necessary tool for guaranteeing equitable information distribution, organizing meetings, holding votes, and enabling directors to spend less time chasing down details and more time debating their decisions. However, with limited resources, sometimes not-for-profits are reluctant to invest in new software that would allow directors to work and vote remotely and access important documents from anywhere, even offline.
As part of its commitment to affordable good governance for organizations of all sizes, the software company Aprio has initiated a new award to highlight the work of not-for-profit directors and recognize organizations with the potential to achieve better results when given the right tools. Their Good Governance For All Award will provide free software to a not-for-profit organization nominated by the public at large, in order to give deserving organizations the ability to better run their meetings and see better results from their directors.
Software like Aprio Boardroom must be as effective and secure as it is affordable, and backed up with round-the-clock customer support and thorough training. Board software is an investment in better decision making, effective governance, and accountability, whether the organization in question is a multinational for-profit or a local not-for-profit. Whatever the size or the mandate of the organization, their directors all need the same thing to work more effectively: an efficient, digital way of distributing information and making decisions. If you think your organization needs a more effective board, learn about some of the features that are making it easier to make good governance a reality at Aprio.net.
Board software can put hefty books at your directors’ fingertips on their laptops or tablets, with archived minutes, instantly updated calendars, in-platform note taking, and remote consent resolution. Not-for-profit directors are always strapped for time, but in addition to better software, PwC recommends adopting a few useful strategies for more effective meetings that focus on generative thinking. These strategies include things like a consent agenda that packages together all of your housekeeping items for a single vote, unless there are any dissenting opinions, allowing directors to move on quickly. Another strategy involves relying less on executive committees and increasingly on ad hoc groups set up to tackle very specific questions, preventing executive committees from becoming “silos” of authority within the board. Good governance is not an easy ideal, but with the right tools, any not-for-profit organization can rise to the task.