Nonprofit Governance: Why It Matters to Attend Board Meetings By Susan Hammond
Have you ever not attended the meeting of a board you sit on? When you don’t do you understand the impact it has?
A few days ago I arrived for a morning board meeting. As I entered the room I thought only four of us are here…do we have a quorum? It’s a small board, eight of us in total. I’ve only been a member for four months. During those four months at least one person and sometimes two have not attended. With the meeting schedule for the year established I just don’t understand.
Many board members give little thought to what happens if they don’t attend a board meeting. Here are six implications to consider, some more weighty than others:
1. Important work requiring a vote doesn’t happen potentially stalling the organization’s progress.
2. If the vote were for Directors & Officers insurance it leaves everyone exposed just that much longer.
3. The entire board does not have the same depth of understanding of issues.
4. You, the missing board member, cede control to those who are there and when there is a quorum, the ability to vote against a matter. You are then bound by what the majority voted to approve with no entry in the minutes of what your concerns might have been.
5. You could end up with an assignment you’d prefer not to do.
6. There may be discussion about your loyalty particularly if you have missed several meetings.
What are other implications when board members miss board meetings?