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You’re On Mute – How the Shift from In-person to Virtual Board Meetings Impacts Board Governance and Communication in Nonprofit Associations

From Theresa Hurley at the University of San Francisco…

Because of the Covid19 pandemic meeting restrictions that started in March 2020, almost all nonprofit boards had to move to virtual board meetings.

Through a literature review, expert interviews and a survey of nonprofit association Executive Directors, Chief Executive Officers and board members, this capstone explores the impact of the shift from in-person to virtual board meetings on board governance and board communication and dynamics for nonprofit associations.

Some findings were positive – virtual meetings are more cost-effective, are better attended and more convenient and efficient than in-person meetings. Other findings were negative – multiple communication challenges inherent in the virtual meeting space such as decreased non-verbal communication, inability to see body language and distractions lead to decreased quality and depth of board discussion and less strategic work.

Recommendations that associations can implement to allow them to effectively enhance their organization’s governance and board communication in a virtual setting are provided.

This research benefits the nonprofit community by raising awareness of the impact of virtual meetings on board governance and communication and providing practical recommendations for mitigating the challenges of virtual board meetings and a model for considering meeting modality when planning board meetings.

For a free download of this Master’s Project, click here.

By | December 5, 2021 | Best Business Practices

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