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How to Conduct Business When Social Distancing

What a whirlwind the last few weeks have been! Many of our schools are now on an extended break or moving to e-learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. It may be many months before meeting in person is an option and we still have business to conduct.

It is important to do what you can to close out your current year and get prepared for the year to come. Back-to-school will be here before you know it and you want to assure that you new board is ready to go. The students and faculty in your community will be counting on you. So, how can our organizations vote in new board members and finalize our budgets?

Check out these tips and tricks to help you conduct business when business as usual is not an option.



Virtual Meetings

You will need to schedule at least one Board Meeting before the end of the year to complete your year-end activities. This may include budget amendments, approving minutes, or transitioning officers. As with your normal Board Meetings, you will need to give board members advance notice of a meeting.

Don’t Forget….

  • Set up a web conference.
  • Email out an agenda before the meeting with the meeting link/or call in instructions. Include anything you are going to be voting on in the body of your email.
  • You still need Quorum.
  • Ask someone to take meeting minutes.

Alternative Ways to Share Information and Have Discussions with Your Board/Committee

Alternative ways to share information with your board membership toolkit
  • Email.
  • Make a Facebook group for your board.
  • Use free messages Apps like Band, Slack, Kik, or Facebook Messenger.
  • Create a Message Board on your Membership Toolkit website just for your board members.

If you are unable to finalize next year’s budget without having a face to face meeting, consider using a placeholder budget
(AKA temporary budget). A placeholder budget is a quick budget with expenses you can anticipate. It’s designed to help
your organization get by until you can finalize your budget.

Alternative Ways to Collect Nominations and Votes

Are you still collecting nominations for next year’s open board positions? Consider using a Data Only Sales Form to collect self nominations for open board positions. Your organization may be able to use electronic voting in lieu of a general unit or board meeting. A Data Only Sales Form can be used to approve a Slate of Officers or next year’s budget. 

Using a Form Condition, you can restrict access to the voting form to only  allow those who should be voting to vote.   

Don’t forget…                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

  • You still need Quorum.                                                                
  • In your next virtual meeting, you will need to summarize the votes to include them in your meeting minutes.  

Virtual Meeting Tips

  • Decide who should be invited to the meeting. 
  • Pick one or two dates and times for the meeting and ask your attendees which time works best for them. 
  • Schedule your meeting.  
  • Email all the attendees the meeting link or call information and meeting agenda. 
  • You should NOT post the link to a virtual meeting in a public location. (FaceBook, website pages that are not locked down). Making these links public allows hackers to hijack your meeting. 
  • Have a test run with a friend before the meeting. This will allow you to test the software and see if you can stay within the time limits set by the conference tools. 
  • Record your meeting for anyone not able to make it. 

The following companies offer free plans that can be used for Video conferences, Web Conferences, or Phone Conferences: 

Zoom

Free Plan with basic features such as: 
  • Up to 100 participants. There is a 40 minute limit on group meetings. 
  • Personal room or meeting ID. 
  • Instant or scheduled meetings 
  • Chat feature (you can use the raise hand function to vote). 
  • Available on Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android. 
  • Share your screen. 
  • Record your meetings. 
  • Additional features available by upgrading to a plan with a monthly cost. 
 
help with virtual meeting tips membership toolkit

Skype

  • Calls can be completely web-based with no need to download anything or sign up for an account.
  • You can generate a free unique meeting link with one click.
  • Up to 10 participants.    
  • No credit card required.    
  • Background blur available.    
  • Share your screen.     
  • Record your meetings
  • Chat feature (can be used to vote). Access chat after the meeting is over.
  • Available on Phone, Desktop, Tablet, Web, Alexa, and Xbox.   

Uberconference

Free Plan with basic features such as: 
  • Unique meeting PINs. 
  • Up to 10 participants. There is a 45 minute limit on the free plan. 
  • Share your screen. 
  • Chat feature for voting. 
  • Mobile App available.  
  • Record your meeting. 

What successes has your board had in these uncertain times? We’d love to hear what has worked and what hasn’t worked. Please leave us a comment below. 

Membership Toolkit has tons of features to help your board operate virtually. Schedule a free trial for more information.

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