COVID-19 & Board Meetings: Six Tips to Have Effective Virtual Meetings
Is your board grappling with how to proceed in these uncertain times? Perhaps this is the first time you have considered meeting remotely?
Each day we are learning about how the COVID-19 virus is disrupting our lives in an unprecedented manner. Events, meetings and gatherings of all kinds are being postponed or cancelled altogether.
Clearly, precaution is the order of the day. Schools are using technology to increase safety and reduce risk. The internet is enabling schools to conduct “distance learning” so that the students’ education will be minimally disrupted as many school buildings close. Businesses and nonprofits are similarly adapting, each facing their own unique challenges.
Please exercise appropriate caution during these uncertain times. Towards that end, we are sharing some quick tips & best practices to have an effective virtual board meeting.
Getting ready for your nonprofit board to meet virtually? Here’s what to do:
- First and foremost, communicate with your board members.
This is an unprecedented time of change and stress/anxiety levels are high. Put your board at ease by letting them know you have a plan to maintain good governance practices.
- At minimum, a phone conference can keep you afloat for that first meeting.
A free service like FreeConferenceCall.com is good to know about in a pinch.
- Consider connecting your board with video conferencing.
Many vendors like Zoom have put out special offers to ensure that virtual meetings are easy to set up and so that social distancing recommendations are easy to follow.
- Better yet, consider using a nonprofit board portal solution like BellesBoard so that your board’s information is secure and easily accessible.
This ensures that board members know where to find key information and enables an easy screen-share during your video conference to allow for a much more engaging meeting.
- Lean on your vendor partners to provide education & support.
Your nonprofit may have been capacity-strained before all this happened. Many companies are redirecting resources to make sure their clients have additional support — now’s the time to take them up on their offers!
- Have patience.
Change is hard no matter the circumstances, so if tensions are running high, especially given that most board members are in the high risk group due to their age, do your best to be understanding and patient.
Here’s how we can help:
We would like to offer our assistance to any organization that is (rightfully) concerned about conducting in-person board or committee meetings — with our help, the transition to virtual meetings can be quick and easy.
Please contact Frank Orzo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 516-902-4638 if you would like help or guidance in setting up a remote meeting for you board.
In addition, please reference this information from the CDC on How To Protect Yourself for important overarching recommendations during this uncertain time.