Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 46 seconds

The traditional board book is a long-standing tradition in the nonprofit board meeting. Of course, your board members need a certain amount of information to prepare for the meeting, including the meeting agenda, previous meeting minutes, budget documents, and so on. But is a paper board book still the best way to keep everyone informed?

The era of the traditional board book is over. Using digital solutions such as dynamic meeting agendas and online document storage is a much more elegant option. Here are just some of the reasons a paper board book is the wrong tool for your nonprofit board.

Board members don’t have time to read board books.

Nonprofit board members are typically engaged, upstanding members of the community. With jobs and lives of their own, sometimes they don’t even have time to attend the board meetings in person, let alone read pages and pages of pre-work. Often, board books go unread and are only brought up at the meeting as a reference to a statistic or number. Additionally, the contents can quickly become outdated.

Creating a board book consumes valuable staff time.

If the responsibility of creating the board book falls on your shoulders personally, you know firsthand how many hours go into collecting the information, typing it up in the appropriate fashion, and actually printing out multiple copies of the book. This takes up critical time that could be spent on other duties that your nonprofit requires.

Printing is a waste of financial and physical resources.

Cloud computing has ushered in a new, paperless world, and printing multiple board book copies doesn’t fit into the modern era. Dozens of pages, printed dozens of times, are wasteful and expensive, drawbacks that are unacceptable for nonprofits dedicated to helping charitable causes.

Paper board books make your nonprofit seem old-fashioned.

More and more, nonprofits are competing for the best and brightest new board members. Naturally, passion for the mission is the most important factor in board member matching, but it is crucial to present a modern, progressive organization to prospects. Many tech-savvy board member candidates will be turned off by a board that seems antiquated and out-of-touch, and nothing screams “old fashioned” like a fifty page paper board book.

These are just a few reasons your nonprofit board should consider getting rid of the traditional board book. At your next board retreat or executive committee, start a discussion of what materials your board members truly need to be prepared for meetings, and what the best method for sharing that information might be. With some careful consideration, you can find an alternative to the board book that saves you time, money, and effort, all while increasing board engagement.


About Jeb Banner:

Jeb is the founder and CEO of Boardable, a nonprofit board management software provider. He is also the founder of two nonprofits, The Speak Easy and Musical Family Tree, as well as a board member of United Way of Central Indiana and ProAct. Jeb is based in Indianapolis, Indiana.

 

About Boardable:

Boardable is an online board management portal that centralizes communication, document storage, meeting planning, and everything else that goes into running a board of directors. Founded in 2017 by nonprofit leaders and founders, Boardable has a mission to improve board engagement for nonprofits. Boardable is based in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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