StreamLink Software and BoardSource are teaming up to present a multi-part blog series entitled a 360 Degree View from the Board.
“Some aspects of board service are constant. Each player in the boardroom, whether it’s the board chair, board member, or chief executive, has a role to fulfill and a set of expectations to meet. Other aspects change with the times. Committee structures change, processes are refined, and strategic plans help both board and staff members refocus organizational direction and work toward greater impact. In recent years, the rise of smartphones and other technology have created a culture accustomed to having any and all data within reach at all times. Have these technological developments changed the way that nonprofit boards interact during and between meetings? Are boards doing all they can to use technological tools to maximize efficiency and focus on exceptional governance?”
Danielle M. Henry
Communications Coordinator, BoardSource
Part Two: A View from a Board Liaison
The following questions were presented to Katie Richlick, Development Coordinator at Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center.
What do you think board members expect from you?
I believe the board members expect me to be in the loop regarding the upcoming meeting. They like to know when it is, where it being held at, specific instructions for the meeting and the content of the agenda. They also expect me to provide training on any software we may use and to extract information from our database, when it is needed.
What do you expect from the board members?
Our board members are incredibly involved individuals and a great asset to our organization. All that I would really expect out of them is a clear instruction when they need something from me. I am always happy to help them as long as I know what they need from me.
What role-specific activities do you have to do in order to prepare for a board meeting, and what is the level of time and effort required?
My role as development coordinator involves several different activities in preparation for the board meeting. I prepare the agenda based on feedback from the directors, attach relevant documents and monitor attendance. There are also certain day of responsibilities including room set up, food/beverage preparation and note taking during the meeting. Most of the effort involved in this process involves working with a team to get the job accomplished. I spent approximately 2 hours preparing for each board meeting.
What’s the biggest challenge in your role as it relates to the board?
A lot of my work with the board is indirect in nature but some of the challenges I see presented are gaps of knowledge when it comes to utilizing technology. Some of the board fully embrace the technology products that we use. They understand how it can streamline the process, reduce expenses and allow it can allow for easier collaboration. Others are used to a more traditional method and would prefer materials be distributed/questions answered in different way.
How has technology changed the way you complete board-related tasks?
I have only been in this role for a short time but we are utilizing technology more and more for board-related tasks. It has made the process streamlined and information more readily available. It also allows for an environment of sharing. We are able to post materials that might be of interest to our board members and they can choose to access these or not. There are so many other ways we could utilize technology but we have only just begun to dig into the realm of possibility.
Image Source: AFGE
About Katie Richlick
Katie serves as Development Coordinator at Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center. Previously, she served as an Income Development Representative for the American Cancer Society focusing on Relay for Life and Coaches vs. Cancer. Ms. Richlick graduated in 2006 from Grand Valley State University and began her two consecutive years of AmeriCorps. During her time as an AmeriCorps member, she was working on completing her graduate degree in Non-profit Administration from North Park University which she received in 2008. Her volunteer experiences have included serving on Grand Valley State University’s Young Alumni Council and acting as state lead for AmeriCorps Alums. Katie has recently relocated to Northeast Ohio and has spent the last few months getting to know Cleveland.
Learn strategies to better engage your board in our free ebook, Maximizing Board Engagement and Effectiveness.