What is the state of board engagement in 2016?
With the help of more than 200 board members, executives and board administrators, our 2016 Board Engagement Report provides insight on common challenges, satisfaction levels and technology use.
Let’s take a look at some of our key findings below.
Well-Run Meetings Lead to More Satisfied Boards
At board meetings, members discuss fundraising ideas, budgeting and organizational goals, and future plans. Since meetings are the glue that holds your board together, running them effectively is critical.
Similar to last year, board attendance was high. Eighty-six percent of board members attended 76% – 100% of board and committee meetings over the past 12 months, which was up from 81%. Our report found that members who attended more meetings were more satisfied with their contributions.
Although attendance is important, it’s also necessary to ensure meeting organization and structure. When meeting materials are delivered in a timely manner, 86% of board members were satisfied with their contributions. When meeting materials were not delivered in a timely manner, only 65% of respondents stated satisfaction with contributions.
In addition, having meeting information in an organized, centralized and easily accessible place improves board satisfaction levels from 73% to 85%.
Communicate Expectations and Feedback
Communication can improve a board’s understanding of roles and expectations and, in turn, engagement.
The majority of respondents (83%) stated they understand their board member expectations very well—likely a result of strong communication within their organization. Eighty-three percent of board members also indicated that their expectations and responsibilities are clearly defined by their organization.
Boards also must communicate and solicit feedback effectively to improve processes. This year, there was a small increase in boards’ abilities to solicit member feedback. Sixty-nine percent of respondents agree that their board has processes in place to collect, evaluate and implement board and committee suggestions, up from 64% last year. However, this still means 31% do not, keeping this an area where many boards can still improve.
The Role of Technology on Boards
Board portal usage has continued to grow year-over-year. Sixty percent of respondents use a board portal or other board management software, up from 53% last year.
Of those boards that use board management technology, 85% said they were more likely to be satisfied with their contributions than non-users (77%).
Board portals also have a positive impact on several factors, such as utilization of board member skills and talents (91% vs. 82%), focused and productive meetings (98% vs. 90%) and strong board member communication (90% vs. 73%).
Want to learn more about the state of boards? Download our complimentary report today: The 2016 Board Engagement Report.
How does your organization compare to other boards?