Why Do You Need a Board Portal? Because Your Board Will Change, but Your Mission Won’t.
By Dustin McKissen, September 22, 2017
Five years from now, there’s a good chance that your entire
board of directors will be different than it is today. This is especially true
for nonprofits, trade associations, school boards, and other organizations that
usually limit the number of terms a director can serve.
But, while your board may change, your mission will remain
For your future directors and staff leaders to achieve that
mission, there needs to be continuity within the organization. Personally, I
have seen what can happen when an organization doesn’t have continuity. A few
years ago, I served as a consultant to a small trade association that was
experiencing conflict between individual directors, and between directors and
The result was the abrupt resignation of almost half the
association’s board and its executive
The situation was made worse by the organization’s poor
recordkeeping, spotty minute-taking, and almost complete lack of written
policies or procedures. In other words, when I stepped in as a consultant,
there was often no documentation of important decisions, and no record of the
dialogue between board members that led to some of those decisions.
However, despite the sudden vacuum in leadership, the
association still had a mission. It still had members to serve. It still played
an important role in the industry.
It’s rare for nearly half of an entire board of directors to
resign suddenly. Normally boards experience more orderly transitions, and an
organization’s staggered terms usually help retain some institutional knowledge.
However, even under normal circumstances, eventually an entire board will be
replaced with new directors.
That’s why having accessible, accurate, and thorough minutes
is so important. They allow new directors and staff to step in and learn how an
organization made important decisions. It’s also why having documented policies
and procedures, a library of forms, and a record of the organization’s planning
process is important.
Having that information in an easily accessible,
technologically friendly way is also about more than just making life easier for
directors and staff.
It’s about your customers and stakeholders not seeing
disruptions in your organization when directors and staff inevitably transition
off the board, or into new jobs.
the board portal of choice for cost-conscious organizations, is working on a
series of new features designed to help you capture and retain the
institutional record and knowledge your organization needs. The company is
already the first board portal to offer a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) tool that allows boards to
do collaborative strategic planning. Soon directors will be able to access
conflict-of-interest disclosures, evaluations, and various other forms that
will make it the first—and most affordable—comprehensive set of paperless tools
for every board.
I have worked for and served on a wide variety of boards. I
know every board of directors has the best of intentions when it comes to
documentation, preparing for transitions, and putting together records and resources
for future directors. However, reality gets in the way, and that documentation
is often lacking.
Using a board portal allows those good intentions to become
And future directors will thank you for that.