CASA / GAL Community:   State & Local ProgramsJudges' PageAdvocacy ResourcesMember Network Board Resources

Better Board Meetings

Meet Smarter: A Guide to Better Nonprofit Board Meetings, Outi Flynn, 2004 BoardSource
Ten Quick Ways to Invigorate Board Meetings: Jan Masaoka, Board Cafe, August 9, 2009

  • Make sure the meeting room is welcoming.
  • Supply name tags for everyone at every meeting. It's embarrassing to have seen people at several meetings and admit you don't know their names.
  • Start on time; end on time.
  • Use icebreakers to set the tone for the meeting. Keep them appropriate to respect the serious-minded peers.
  • Eliminate report reading by using a consent agenda.
  • If the chair is not a good meeting facilitator, tactfully suggest someone else take the lead or rotate the job.
  • Use charts, pictures, or other tools to capture the listeners’ interest and the keep the focus. Don’t allow listeners to read reports during a presentation.
  • Require that the majority of the meeting time be spent on major issues geared toward the future and not on what has already happened.
  • Make sure that each person says at least one thing at every board meeting. This is the board chair's responsibility, but everyone should help.
  • Invite engaging guests and speakers to liven up the discussion.
  • Good meetings have good food. Serve something different each time.
  • When appropriate, have “theme” meetings to cover a main issue in depth. For example, fundraising campaigns or new marketing approaches.
  • Allow for breaks.
  • Use mini-evaluations after every meeting and assign the task to someone to ensure valuable comments are shared, heard, and implemented.
The US Department of Justice has supported CASA advocacy since 1985 through its Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
This Web site is funded in part through a grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Deliquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice. Neither the US Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this Web site (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).