Let’s start with this excerpt about liability and protection from an article in the Houston Chronicle.
“Board members and officers of a nonprofit can be sued for a wide variety of breaches, and their personal assets can be at risk, so most nonprofits protect themselves with directors and officers (D&O) insurance. Lawsuits generally cover claims of fraud and manipulation, personal financial gain, breach of fiduciary duty, financial mismanagement, negligence and mistakes and errors. Even when an association has insurance, every board member and officer must be proactive in protecting the organization from such claims through detailed record-keeping, maintenance of paper trails covering all decisions and management activities, and full compliance with best practices for human resource management, civil rights and anti-discrimination laws.”
A quick online search will reveal dozens of news stories about such breaches. While this is all scary stuff, it doesn’t have to be. The right board portal can ensure compliance and mitigate risk for both board members and the organization. Here are three areas in which they can help.
The Digital Paper Trail
Knowing what’s expected is half the battle. A board portal serves as a secure, centralized hub for all board-related materials enabling members to access all the information they’re required to know. The board portal can also capture voting information, and help keep track of certain expectations like meeting attendance, time and monetary contributions, and task assignment and completion.
Archiving the Past
A board portal can include a repository of archived meeting information. The final and official meeting materials (ex. board books), records of motions introduced and voting results for past meetings are kept safe and secure. So, if there’s ever a need to go back and verify something that happened in a past meeting, it’s easy to do. And only board and staff members with the appropriate permissions can access the materials.
A board portal includes a centralized calendar so everyone knows about upcoming meetings, events, and deadlines. It’s also is a logical place to store financials and other information so board members can take care of their fiduciary responsibilities. And finally, a board portal is a great tool for strategic alignment between the board, committees, and the organization. Transparency into organizational goals and strategic plans makes sure everyone knows what’s planned and expected.