12 Mar

Don’t Cancel Your Board Meeting During the Coronavirus Crisis

Do not cancel your board meetings in light of Coronavirus. Move them to Zoom, Go to Meeting or WebEx. It is crucial that your board is up to date on the crisis management and emergency preparedness steps being taken and has a chance to think strategically about the short, medium and long-term implications of the virus.

In order to move your meeting online, do the following:

1. Send out a notice to your board.
2. Offer training before the meeting to anyone not familiar with Zoom, Go To Meeting or WebEx or other provider.
3. Revise your agenda; things are changing day by day, hour by hour.
4. Send out the agenda and materials for pre-reading in advance.
5. Mute all attendees on the call/video when they arrive.
6. Use the chat function (on Zoom) to allow people to ask questions and assign someone to monitor chat other than the presenter.
7. Have participants unmute themselves to talk.
8. If there are slides or visuals, share the screen to show them and make sure participants on the phone have copies.
9. Leave time for Q&A at the end in addition to encouraging chat function.
10. Send out email afterwords with the minutes and inviting anyone to say anything or ask anything didn’t on virtual meeting.

During times of crises, leaders lead. Your board must continue to meet to carry out its duty of care and other responsibilities.

Have other questions? Let me know. #MeetingMaven

Nanette Fridman, MPP, JD, is a catalyst, consultant, coach and speaker. Her firm, Fridman Strategies, specializes in strategic planning, financial resource development, governance, and leadership coaching for values-driven organizations. Nanette is the author of On Board: What Current and Aspiring Board Members Must Know About Nonprofits & Board Service and of Holding the Gavel: What Nonprofit Board Leaders Need to Know. She can be reached at

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