In my previous post, I explored how a simple tool such as Google Forms helped to drive board engagement with content prior to a board meeting. In this post, I will examine a popular board portal software, BoardEffect, as a more robust option for utilizing technology to drive board engagement. I would not classify BoardEffect as a full fledged ESN, but it does have some ESN capabilities.
Here is quick overview of BoardEffect:
BoardEffect is a repository for:
- Board books
- Board policy handbooks
- Onboarding materials
- Board education
- Board member profiles
BoardEffect allows collaboration in the following ways:
- Collaborative documents
BoardEffect is more of a digital platform with some collaboration tools built in. It collects board materials and makes them easily visible and searchable for users. For the vast majority of nonprofit boards, this would be a significant improvement. This tool could make the transmission of knowledge and information more efficient.
However, board members are primarily interacting with the content privately. They can view a board board book and make personal notes on it, but they are not able to comment on the board book in a way that other users could see it.
BoardEffects can track and help measure some aspects of board engagement. For example, you could measure the number of board members who viewed the documents, participated in approvals, responded to surveys, and created a profile.
Groups can be formed and shared documents can be worked on. This ensures the work of committees is contained within the portal and remains visible and searchable.
Overall, BoardEffects looks like a great tool to more efficiently transmit official board materials, maintain them in a central place and allow them to be a resource. In post #3, I’ll explore how a tool like this could be developed into a more robust ESN.