Well-managed nonprofits are increasingly turning to board portals to help improve their bottom line. Simply stated, board portals improve efficiency, reduce administrative work, increase board engagement, have a positive impact on increasing revenue and reducing expenses, and reduce risk.
This article covers three specific ways that nonprofit organizations are using board portals to improve mission impact are:
- Recovering and redeploying internal resources to focus on fundraising
- Empowering board members to be more effective ambassadors, and
- Helping the organization manage risk.
Recovering & Redeploying Internal Resources to Focus on Fundraising
Running a successful nonprofit is hard enough. Add in hundreds of mundane board management chores and the responsibilities associated with the executive director and staff becomes needlessly more challenging.
If the following phrases sound all too familiar, then this article is for you.
“I didn’t get the minutes – could you send them over?”
“Did they RSVP?”
“I can’t find his contact details; can you send again?”
“Where was that document?”
“Is next week’s meeting still on?”
“What’s the dial-in number?”
And these seemingly simple questions have a financial impact associated with them. Our analysis showed that small to medium sized nonprofits are spending as much as $9000 per year in wasted management and administrative time dealing with these issues.
Powered by Professionals is a professional fundraising firm for nonprofits. Darren Port, CEO, states that “Nonprofits are challenged more than ever today to raise funds. Organizations need to look for efficient ways to use existing staff to support new fundraising activities. The more resources an organization can provide, the more funds an organization will be able to raise. One of our clients was able to use three members of their existing staff to work on a fundraising initiative that yielded $37,500 in new revenue.”
A board management portal enables an organization to relieve staff from dealing with many mundane and repetitive tasks associated with scheduling meetings, preparing for meetings, managing board projects, staying in compliance, and maintaining board and committee rosters.
Jessica Colson, Communications & Engagement Manager at Girls Inc. of the Valley, Holyoke MA, said “I personally am enjoying a less chaotic inbox!”
Bottom line – the time recovered from reducing or eliminating the time spent on these tasks is available to be redeployed in support of new fundraising opportunities.
Empowering Board Members to Be More Effective Ambassadors
A board management portal provides a shared, secure space for directors to access board documents, collaborate with other directors, and improve donor engagement.
Frank Somma, current board member and former national president of Cooley’s Anemia Foundation, said “Our board management portal provided a centralized location for our board members to find all items they need to be the best ambassadors for our organization.”
Board members can, and should be, one of your organization’s most valuable assets. In addition to providing easy access to meeting information, upcoming dates, and contact information, a board portal should contain a dashboard that provides board members the “talking points” they need in their role as ambassadors for the organization. The screen shots below are examples of how board members have access to all board-related information in the palm of their hands, 24/7:
Donors want to know how the organization is doing in terms of their mission. There are many ways that board members can raise money without fundraising. The board portal’s dashboard provides the metrics to support the board member & donor engagement.
David Goldstein, head of the Nonprofit Practice Group at Certilman Balin, says … “The touchstones of nonprofit governance are the three primary legal duties of a nonprofit director: the duty of care, the duty of loyalty and the duty of obedience. Following these duties provides a roadmap for good governance. Conversely, too often we see the failure to follow these fundamental duties as the basis of claims and litigation against nonprofit directors and officers for breach of duty.”
“… too often we see the failure to follow these fundamental duties as the basis of claims and litigation against nonprofit directors and officers…”
A board portal enables board members to fulfill more easily and effectively their legal, management, fiscal and program oversight responsibilities. Without access to information that could impact this oversight, board members leave themselves open to personal and professional exposure associated with their responsibilities of care, loyalty, and obedience.
A board portal enables board members to have ready access to the organization’ risk management plan and insurance policies.
Goldstein went on to say “The right insurance coverage is an essential component of risk management. It is critical for nonprofit boards to interface regularly with their insurance professionals to assure that they have the right coverage in place for the risks that their operations present. All insurance is most certainly not created equal. The nature of the coverage, as well as the amount, need to be regularly assessed. Nonprofits evolve, as do the risks that face them. The board needs to make sure that its insurance protection evolves, as well. In my practice I have seen clients saved by having the right coverage, in the right amount, in place.
Any money saved on claims. Litigation and inadequate coverage have a positive impact on the bottom line. A board portal greatly increases the probability of risk avoidance.
In today’s climate of increased challenges related to organizational sustainability, it is imperative that nonprofits employ every available tool to improve the bottom line. As stated above, one of the ways that smart organizations accomplish this is through the implementation of a board portal. The board portal enables organization to impact the profitability in three ways:
- Recovering internal resources so that they can be redeployed to focus on fundraising,
- Empowering board members to be more productive ambassadors for the organization, and
- Reducing potential risk expense to the organization.
We welcome your questions and comments on any of the material or ideas expressed in this article. To learn more about the board portal we created for mission-driven organizations, visit our site.