All Aboard: Ways to Encourage Board Portal Adoption

train conductorBoard portals have clear benefits for board members and organizations, including streamlined efforts, consolidated documents, universal access and increased communication.

Together, this boosts productivity and influences the overall effectiveness of a board.

So how do you get your board to adopt? It starts with an understanding of the stakeholders.

Understand Your Audience

A board’s demographic influences the projected adoption rate of a board portal and technology innovation as a whole.

Nonprofit boards are comprised mainly of members aged 50-64 (43%) and 40-49 (28%). Generally speaking, each generation reacts differently to technology implementation. Therefore, you must take into account your board membership and how to best manage potential resistance.

Generation X (Born 1965 – 1980) 

Generation X, as a whole, is more willing and open to the idea of technology for streamlined efforts and communication purposes. Convenience is the driving force behind the use of technology in their daily lives. To convince them of board portal adoption, focus on the following benefits:

  • A consolidated location for important documents, providing increased accessibility.
  • Better communication for improved engagement and streamlined projects.
  • Increased accountability and transparent agendas through central management of responsibilities and activities.

If any of your board falls into this age group, note that technology is not a threat to them. Most Generation Xers simply want a clear, concise reason why the technology is needed before they will consider adoption.

The Baby Boomer Generation (Born 1946 – 1964)

Generally, Baby Boomers hold face-to-face communication in high regard. For this demographic, increased online communication may not be as highly valued of a feature in a board portal, as it would be for Generation X. However, adoption of technology to improve quality of life is an intriguing benefit to them.

Rob Sinclair, director of Accessibility at Microsoft, explains that Baby Boomers put high value on technology that is “safe, easy to use and flexible enough to adapt to their individual needs.” Therefore, when selling the value to this age group, focus on the functionality that meets those needs, such as:

  • SSL encrypted data storage, which allows your documents and communication to be saved on a secure network so that only your board can see it.
  • Ease of use; board portal interfaces are comparable to the simplicity of social networking sites—of which 60% of people aged 50 to 64 use.
  • Training and onboarding support; best vendors will offer demos and support to ease the transition for your board.  

Board portals promote efficiency and engagement. Each member will have a different outlook on the use of technology to achieve these goals. However, with proper guidance and the right partner, boards will realize the benefits of seamless adoption.

Is your board ready to adopt and integrate the benefits of a board portal?

Image Source: Jay Reed via FlickR