Term Limits within your Board of Directors

By BoardPaq, February 24, 2018

Have you ever served on a board of directors that never seemed to change? Whether it was the people, the structure, the policies, etc…? This is far too common in the boardroom world, which is why term limits were created to construct positive change within boards and members of boards everywhere.


In this webinar you will learn the new term limit trends that are emerging and how to implement them within your board of directors.


The 4 Most Common Term Limit Policies:


   A term that is unlimited

   A term that is cap based by age (uncommon in non profits, although all states have a minimum age)

   A term that is cap based by years of service

   A term that is based on the results of a regular performance review (i.e. you have to produce a certain amount of work in order to stay on the board)



For-Profit Company Trends:


Shorter Terms

It is becoming common to have annual elections in order to get a higher performance rate out of members and also to eliminate the problem of having members who won't retire.


Age Caps

The age limit used to be 72, but was extended to 75 because people are starting to live longer.



Many boards are starting to require resignation on change of professional status, which means, if a board member leaves a job, accepts a new job, has a scandal, etc., then they have to submit a resignation or might not be asked back due to violation of a conflict of interest.


Owners Pick

Sometimes, you might see the owners pick the directors on a board. This could be good or bad… Good because they will pick like-minded individuals who will run the organization similar to before, but could also be bad because they are friends and could potentially have a conflict.


Exit Interview

When someone's term expires, they need to have an exit interview, so the board can learn what they liked, what they did NOT like, and what they are willing to help with in the future.



Non-Profit Company Trends:


Implementing Term Limits

Over 71% of all non-profit organizations now have term limits, which was not common before.


Consecutive Years

It is common for a non-profit board member to have 2 consecutive 3 year terms.


Extending Terms

Since good non-profit board members are sometimes hard to come by, it is common for a member's term to be extended.


Interest Level

Keep board members who have a high interest level, performance level and are passionate about what they do. These people are sometimes hard to find for a non-profit, so if you have someone like this, do everything you can to keep them!


Mission Fatigue

This is common for non-profit organizations that deal with hard issues like violence, abuse, trafficking, etc., because the depth of the problem becomes too overwhelming, which can lead to burnout.



If you don't have term limits, it is important to evaluate your board members each year. Some questions you may consider asking are: Do they show up? Do they contribute? Do they support the rest of the staff? Do they share their sphere of influence? Do they complete committee work?



How a Board Portal can help you manage Term Limits:


BoardPaq is a leader in the Board Portal industry by making a difference in the way directors are managing their boards. It not only saves your board members time and money, but it also helps to manage term limits by tracking term length, setting date caps, and securely storing important information like exit interviews or other institutional memory. Making the switch from paper to digital might seem like a hurdle, but BoardPaq is very user friendly, provides training and support, and will ultimately save your board from headaches in the long-run.

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BoardPaq is an affordable, easy-to-use, secure portal on iPad, Windows and Web devices for planning, running and managing paperless board, leadership and committee meetings. BoardPaq's board portal solution is used in small-medium enterprises including for-profit, nonprofit, education and government organizations.
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