Board Meeting Agenda Template
How do you plan a board meeting properly? With a board meeting agenda template, of course.
Effective board meetings are all about planning — and that means effective board meeting agendas. With the right agenda template, your organization will be able to tackle even the most difficult decision-making tasks.
When planning a board meeting, look for an agenda template that closely matches what you’re trying to accomplish. You can find any type of template online, from a team meeting agenda template to a staff meeting agenda template. The best meeting agenda template will be easily customized to your goals.
An advantage to using a meeting agenda template is that you can send the meeting agenda template Google Doc or PDF to everyone before the meeting even occurs. Once filled out, it becomes a list of everything that will be discussed at the meeting — and gives them time to prepare.
A proper meeting agenda should serve as an outline of everything that has to be discussed and the desired results of the meeting. During the meeting, everyone can go through the meeting agenda step-by-step, to ensure that nothing is missed. After the meeting, minutes can be drawn up and the agenda can be again reflected upon, to make sure everything was covered.
Without an agenda, meetings can be aimless. It can be easy to forget certain things that need to be discussed — and because meeting participants may be blindsided, they may not be prepared to discuss issues or respond. Meetings may go longer without an agenda or may need to wrap up before the entire agenda has been discussed.
Over time, boards will develop their own templates for agendas and meetings. But the easiest way to ensure that your meeting agenda is polished and professional is to download one that’s already been prepared.
Meeting Agenda Topics
Once you have your template in hand, it’s time to consider the meeting agenda topics. The format of notice and agenda of board meeting will be set primarily by the template, but beyond the format you need to customize your own content. You can take a look at a business meeting agenda sample or creative meeting agenda sample to see what types of things are usually discussed.
Importantly, an agenda shouldn’t be too long. It has to clearly but concisely outline the topics that need to be discussed — but it doesn’t have to provide excess information. Each agenda item should have clear calls to action, as well as calling out any board members who are particularly responsible for this meeting item.
A meeting agenda is designed to facilitate decisions and to leave meeting participants with clear takeaways. The agenda should be focused on telling everyone participating in the meeting what will be discussed, why, and what the ultimate goals will be. In this way, a meeting agenda serves as the ultimate infrastructure for the meeting itself.
A common mistake is trying to write too much into the agenda. A discussion of each topic is meant for the meeting itself. Because the board will need to meet and share their ideas, the agenda should avoid trying to determine the content of the discussion or the ultimate decisions involved. Instead, the agenda should simply outline the key points of discussion and what the next steps need to be.
Ideally, participants will be able to glance at the agenda, read its key points, and know exactly what will be discussed at each meeting. Those who may be presenting materials will be clearly outlined and will have the time to prepare.
A proper agenda will value everyone’s time and will ensure that everyone’s time is used wisely. An agenda keeps people focused, ensures that they prepare as much as they can beforehand, and provides a way to validate that everything necessary has been discussed.
Nonprofit Board Meeting Agenda Template
In what ways is a nonprofit board meeting agenda template different from a for-profit company? If you look at a board meeting minutes PDF, you’ll find that most of them are very similar. But a nonprofit board meeting template will cover some other issues, such as government compliance, governance, fundraising committees, and program committees.
Overall, a nonprofit board meeting template is going to be more focused on fundraising and programs than a for-profit will be. But you shouldn’t use the first nonprofit board meeting agenda template you download. As every nonprofit is different, you should look for a charity board meeting agenda template that most closely fits your organization.
Apart from the actual formatting and style, most nonprofit organizations are going to heavily customize their agendas. So, it’s not necessarily a bad thing to use an agenda from a for-profit company, as you will be customizing most of the content.
But in addition to a nonprofit annual meeting agenda template, you might also want to look at samples. Samples are what actually give you more information about the content of your agenda. And when looking at samples, you will want to focus on nonprofit organizations over for-profit organizations.
As your understanding of what works and what doesn’t for your organization grows, your agendas should become easier to build. A nonprofit organization’s agenda is always going to have to be tailored for the organization, so there isn’t any all-in-one solution. The more agendas you look at and refer back to, the more you may become aware of things you want to add.
Don’t forget that the agenda, like the minutes, may eventually become part of the record regarding your organization’s meetings and compliance. Consequently, you want to make sure that your agenda does include any elements that would be related to compliance.
Startup Board Meeting Agenda Template
How would a startup board meeting agenda template differ from a traditional board meeting template?
A startup board meeting agenda may differ from other board meeting types in part because much of the structure of the organization may be loose-fitting or may still be in flux. A board of directors meeting agenda template for a startup may be uniquely structured to meet the process of the startup itself, which may be disruptive in nature. A startup’s first board meeting agenda template will need to cover much, much more than an organization that has already been in development for many decades. So, you can expect that, at minimum, the agendas will usually be busier.
Beyond this, however, a startup agenda template shouldn’t differ too significantly from a formal meeting agenda template. The board may be smaller in a startup, so there will likely be fewer people involved, and more responsibilities spread between the individuals. A startup shouldn’t be tempted to go entirely informal with its meetings.
Agendas and meeting minutes are critical components to how any board operates. If there is a board, whether in a startup or elsewhere, there should be agendas and meeting minutes. An agenda is what gets people on the same page, so they know what they’re going to be discussing and what they seek to accomplish.
In fact, if anything, an agenda is even more important for a startup. For a startup,everything matters, and communication is critical. The better the agenda is and the better the meeting minutes are, the more likely the organization will be to remain on task. And as with other things, companies can look up startup meeting agendas, startup meeting minutes, and general startup document samples to start developing their processes.
Instructions: Use this section to reflect on how a startup board meeting agenda may be treated uniquely from other board meeting types.
Free Board Meeting Agenda Template
So, how do you find a free board meeting agenda template that suits your organization’s needs?
There are a lot of solutions out there if you want a board meeting agenda template free. You can go to Google, Word, or DocketHQ.com. Search for a board meeting template Word and you’ll get a whole array of downloadable files. However, you may want to specifically search for the type of board meeting you’re holding — such as a nonprofit template or a startup template.
Depending on if you use Google Docs or Microsoft Word, you can search for specific formats. If you want samples, you can search for a PDF. And be mindful of your location; a board meeting agenda template UK may differ from one intended for US organizations.
When looking at a sample nonprofit board meeting agenda, make sure that you’re able to customize it in full, that there aren’t any watermarks, and that there isn’t a “paid” premium version. You might download a board meeting agenda template Word only to find that you can’t actually edit it properly unless you unlock it with a premium subscription.
And it may be worth it to pay for a template. If you need something more niche, like a nonprofit board meeting agenda template Australia, or a startup board meeting template UK, it may be worth it to get a premium version instead. While there are a lot of fantastic templates out there for free, the premium templates tend to be a little more professional and a little more polished.
Either way, the most important thing is that you start developing your agenda. Your agenda doesn’t necessarily have to be extremely well-formatted — it just has to have all the information you need. To get started, try Docket’s Board Meeting Agenda Template for free!