Are Board Portals for NFPs a New Necessity?
18 October 2018 at 8:38 am
There is a common misconception that board portals for not for profits are unnecessary, but they can actually work as a tool to help NFPs operate more efficiently and effectively, writes Convene sales and marketing executive Marjorie Nepomuceno.
Unlike multinational corporations, whose focus is on revenue generation, NFPs are dedicated to advocating a social cause. Because of this, many argue that board portals for NFPs are not something that charities should consider and pursue. They say it’s an added cost to an already strained budget and thus unnecessary for a NFP board to function.
It’s important to note that despite the difference in operations, both corporate and NFP boards still share many similar responsibilities. Some of these include, but are not limited to: approving budget proposals, overseeing operations, making crucial decisions, and coming up with strategic plans. NFP boards also have the humongous task of raising both awareness and funds for their organisation. On top of this, they must ensure that they work within their budget and that all actions they do are aligned with their cause.
Because of the unique position that these kinds of boards find themselves in, board portals for NFPs are becoming more popular, and even necessary, in the boardroom. Here are other reasons why board portals for NFPs are becoming a staple for NFP operations:
1. NFP boards have unique responsibilities
NFP boards have additional unique responsibilities separate from what traditional boards have. Aside from reviewing documents, approving budgets and making strategic decisions, NFP boards must pursue their advocacy in the most cost and resource-efficient way possible as well.
With the use of board portals for NFPs, organisations can focus their time and attention towards more urgent operations other than preparing and organising their meetings. They are able to collaborate seamlessly on one digital platform with the use of powerful meeting tools. Board portals for NFPs can streamline the meeting process from start to finish, letting administrators and executives balance their responsibilities better; pushing their advocacy even further with a purpose-driven product.
Board portals for NFPs also cut down on meeting expenses, whether it is money spent on paper or on printing. As a paperless initiative, board portals for NFPs reduce the need for printing board packs, as well as the need to reprint and redistribute them should there be any updates. Revisions can automatically be updated on the board portal and notifications regarding changes are sent in real-time. With the help of board portals, NFPs can allot their meeting budget to fundraising and other advocacy-centric initiatives.
2. NFP board members often sit on various boards
Given the voluntary nature of NFP boards, several board members often oversee multiple committees and organisations. Because of this, they would have to attend to various matters, in turn dividing their time, effort, and attention. With the help of board portals for NFPs, board members can make annotations, notes and comments prior to their meetings, which allow them to focus on specific tasks or documents in a smarter and more effective manner. Executives are also able to bring their files – be it agendas, minutes, reports – anywhere they go, accessing them on their own devices.
3. NFPs face more public scrutiny
NFPs face tremendous amounts of pressure from the public. Like any other committee, NFP boards are expected to carry out decisions and lead their organisations. They are tasked to push forward their advocacies while keeping the best interest of their organisation and its charitable purpose in mind along with budget the money that was entrusted to them by stakeholders.
Board portals for NFPs allow charities to practice transparency and accountability. With monitoring and tracking features, NFPs can hold their officers accountable for any actions they may or may not do. Board portals also generate reports quicker should stakeholders ask for them.
NFPs organisations deal with sensitive information, such as financial data and personal details about donors and recipients. Given that, it’s important that NFPs are wary of data breaches; as not only will their files be compromised but their reputation as well. Board portals reduce the risk of data breaches by storing confidential files on a secure and protected platform.
With everything that NFP boards have on their plate, it’s essential that they have a tool that helps them operate more efficiently and effectively, without compromising security and their finances. By streamlining the meeting process and promoting easier collaboration, board portals for NFPs help these organisations stay focused and promote their advocacies.
About the Author: Marjorie Nepomuceno is a sales and marketing executive at Convene.