Nonprofit Board Meeting Agenda Template


Why is this template useful?

The quality of the board of directors and their meetings can make or break your nonprofit organization. Having a better template for the board meeting agenda will cultivate your organization's plan into reaching the perfect goal. This template will give have you 1 step forward instead of starting from scratch.

Who is this template for?

This template is for all nonprofit organizations.

What are the main sections covered in this template?

Nonprofit board meeting agenda template will help you ensure every meeting is productive and has clear next steps outlined.

The quality of your board of directors and their meetings can make or break your nonprofit organization. Having a board of directors that is knowledgeable, committed, and supportive can help an organization reach its goals more efficiently.

This article provides a nonprofit board meeting agenda template to help nonprofit boards plan and organize their meetings more effectively. We'll discuss key elements of the nonprofit board meeting agenda and provide tips on using this template to get the most out of each session. 

Why Should You Prepare a Nonprofit Board Meeting Agenda?

A well-prepared agenda is essential for ensuring nonprofit board meetings are productive and successful. 

Preparing an agenda beforehand allows the board of directors to stay on track during the session and cover all essential topics in a timely manner. Additionally, a clearly written outline can help new members understand the flow of conversation and feel comfortable participating in discussions.

A well-thought-out agenda is especially important for nonprofits because board meetings don’t happen too frequently. Time is of the essence, and having an agenda can help the organization make the most of their limited time together. 

When a large number of board members are gathered in the same room, conversations can quickly become derailed. With an agenda, everyone knows what will be discussed during the meeting so they can come prepared with their thoughts and ideas. This can reduce unproductive conversations as well as increase engagement amongst all members. 

With a well-executed plan, members can move through each agenda item quickly and efficiently, leaving plenty of time for any unexpected topics or issues that arise.

With this structure in place, nonprofits have more opportunities to reach their goals as quickly as possible!

What Should You Include in a Nonprofit Board Meeting Agenda?

A nonprofit board meeting agenda should include a few key elements to ensure the most productive use of everyone's time.

Do: Welcome/Call to Order

Welcoming the board is an important opportunity for the chair of the board to welcome everyone to the meeting, thank them for their attendance, and set the tone for the remainder of the session. The chair should also outline any applicable rules of procedure before proceeding with other agenda items.

Do: Minutes Approval

Secondly, nonprofit boards should approve the minutes of the previous board meeting. This is to ensure an accurate record of decisions made and any critical points discussed at the last meeting. Minutes are a vital record-keeping tool; all nonprofit boards should adopt minutes as part of their meeting agenda.

Do: Reports

Any reports that need to be presented should also be included in the nonprofit board meeting agenda. This could consist of reports from any committee chairs, executive directors, or other officers. Reports are an essential way to ensure that all board members are kept apprised of any news or updates about their organization.

Secretary Report: If the board has a Secretary, they should provide an update on any relevant filings that need to be made with relevant authorities. This could include nonprofit regulatory filings or reports to funding agencies. This is also a good opportunity for the Secretary to bring any other important news from their office to the board's attention.

Treasurer Report: The Treasurer should provide an update on any changes to the nonprofit organization's financial statement. This report should detail any changes in finances, grants, or other resources that could affect the nonprofit's operations. The Treasurer should also provide a summary of their current budget and progress toward meeting goals associated with that budget.

Director's Report: The Executive Director should provide an update on the nonprofit's activities. This report should detail any new initiatives, accomplishments, and goals they have achieved in support of the nonprofit board's mission. They may also present any proposed new programs, budget changes, or other items that need nonprofit board approval.

Do: Old Business

Any old business that is still needing board discussion or approval should also be included on the nonprofit board meeting agenda template. This could include items from previous meetings that require further information before the board can come to a decision.

Do: Main Topics/New Business

The nonprofit board meeting agenda template should include a section dedicated to any new topics that need discussion or approval. These items could range from policy changes and program updates to budgeting and fundraising initiatives.

Do: Action Items/Closing Comments

The nonprofit board meeting agenda should also include a section for any action items that need to be completed. This could range from assigning tasks to individual members or creating committees to work on specific projects. The chair can also use this opportunity to encourage further discussion, ask questions, and provide any closing comments before adjourning the meeting.

Do: Adjournment

Finally, nonprofit boards should adjourn their meetings and thank all attendees for their participation. This is a critical step to ensure that board members feel valued and that they have had a chance to contribute meaningful feedback. Adjourning the nonprofit board meeting also marks the end of one cycle of nonprofit governance and the start of another.

Don't: Include Unnecessary Items

While it may be tempting to include all items on the nonprofit board meeting agenda, it is important to remember that too much on the agenda can create confusion and overwhelm board members. 

It is best to limit the topics covered in any meeting and focus on only those that are most pertinent to the organization's goals. Board members should ensure that all items discussed are relevant and necessary for the organization's mission. This will help keep board members well-informed and able to make important decisions quickly and effectively. 

Don't: Rush Through the Agenda

It is crucial that nonprofit boards take their time during meetings and not rush through each agenda item. Instead, each topic should be discussed in detail, and members should be given ample opportunity to provide input or ask questions. 

Don't: Forget About Follow Up

It is equally vital for boards to follow up after each meeting. Board members should review any minutes taken from the meeting and send a recap to all members. This document should include action items that need completion, decisions made during the meeting, and any other relevant information. 

Ensuring that follow-up is done correctly will help board members stay informed of any changes or decisions made in between meetings.

The Best Nonprofit Board Meeting Agenda Templates

Below we will share three simple yet effective nonprofit board meeting agenda templates. You can use any of these depending on the topics you need to cover, and you can easily customize them to meet your needs.

Template 1: Basic Meeting Agenda

  1. Welcome and Introductions
  2. Approval of Previous Minutes
  3. Reports from Executive Director/Board Chair/Treasurer, etc.
  4. Unfinished Business
  5. New Business
  6. Announcements
  7. Adjournment

Template 2: Meeting Agenda With Discussion Items

  1. Welcome and Introductions
  2. Approval of Previous Minutes
  3. Reports from Executive Director/Board Chair/Treasurer, etc.
  4. Unfinished Business
  5. Discussion Items
    1. Funding Opportunities
    2. New Programs and Initiatives
    3. Strategic Planning
  6. New Business
  7. Board Development
  8. Announcements
  9. Adjournment

Template 3: Meeting Agenda With Action Items

  1. Welcome and Introductions
  2. Approval of Previous Minutes
  3. Reports from Executive Director/Board Chair/Treasurer, etc.
  4. Unfinished Business
  5. Discussion Items
  6. Action Items
    1. Develop a fundraising plan
    2. Review new policies and procedures
  7. New Business
  8. Board Development
  9. Announcements
  10. Comments/Open Discussion
  11. Adjournment

No matter what nonprofit board meeting agenda sample you choose to pull from, you must ensure your board members have time to discuss items thoroughly and take action when needed. 

Of course, these agendas should be tailored to fit your individual nonprofit's specific needs and objectives. The size, structure, and overall mission should all influence what items are discussed in board meetings and how much time is dedicated to each item. 

While it may take some trial and error, finding an agenda template that works best for your organization will help ensure successful meetings now and in the future. Using these templates as a starting place, you can have a successful and productive nonprofit board meeting that achieves its goals.

Best Practices For Your Board Meeting Agenda

When creating a nonprofit board meeting agenda template, there are several best practices to consider to ensure that your organization’s activities remain on track and that all members know the important topics being discussed.

Allow for Open Discussion

While board meetings should primarily focus on critical decisions and topics, it is important also to allow time for open discussion. This will ensure that all members have an opportunity to voice their opinion and help shape the organization's direction.

Include Relevant Reports & Documents

To ensure that nonprofit board meetings remain productive and efficient, include any relevant documents or reports as part of the meeting agenda. This allows members to become familiar with the topics being discussed before the meeting, so they can easily provide feedback or make decisions during the discussion.

Prioritize Important Issues

When creating nonprofit board meeting agendas, it is vital to prioritize key topics and decisions. This will ensure that time is managed efficiently and the nonprofit organization remains on track with its goals and objectives.

Make Time for Networking

It is essential to provide nonprofit board members with the opportunity to network and share ideas. This will foster a productive environment and help build relationships among nonprofit board members.

Review Progress & Accomplishments

Nonprofit board meetings should be used as an opportunity to review the progress and accomplishments of the nonprofit. This will allow nonprofit board members to celebrate successes while also providing an opportunity to identify areas for improvement.

Wrapping Up: Nonprofit Board Meeting Agenda Template

By following the lessons learned from these best practices, nonprofit organizations can easily craft effective nonprofit board meeting agenda templates to ensure productive and efficient meetings. Through a clear focus on key topics and decisions, nonprofit board members can quickly and efficiently make choices that directly benefit their entire organization. 

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