Board portals provide a tool for organizations seeking to improve the engagement and efficacy of their boards. Since the publication of Computer Software and Online Technologies to Deepen and Grow Board Engagement, which looks at common governance challenges among arts nonprofits and technologies that can be used to help resolve them, BoardBookit released a new report outlining the features of its product. So just how does it work, and what makes it a potentially helpful solution for small and mid-sized arts organizations?
BoardBookit is an online board portal product designed with the belief that a board portal “should be so easy to use that anyone who has shopped on Amazon, paid bills online, or used an Ipad can figure it out.” The Pittsburgh-based company recently launched this product, featuring an attractive user interface and intuitive processes and displays that increase ease of use and communication in comparison to the traditional board portal.
BoardBookit makes administration simpler by combining all of the communication, calendar, and polling tools into a centralized, interactive location. Alternative meeting times can be proposed, voted on, and updated without leaving the portal, reducing reliance on phone calls and long email message chains.
The portal also more effectively accommodates board book creation. A board book is a collection of relevant documents for the upcoming meeting, including an agenda, minutes, and other items to be discussed during the meeting. Moving board books from print to email was a big step toward increasing the efficiency of board management. BoardBookit takes it a step further by allowing administrators to drag and drop items inside the book without having to re-assemble and configure hard-wired links between documents and agenda items. In addition, when a new document is available, it can replace the old version in a single step without losing members’ notes and annotations from earlier versions. These board books can be accessed on the BoardBookit site or the iPad app, and supporting materials can be opened in an e-reader app that is linked with the portal.
The overarching theme of the BoardBookit portal is a commitment to making access to information more intuitive. The company believes that since board members aren’t daily users of the portal, it is important that information and updates are readily available as soon as the user logs in. The home page of the portal includes a personalized dashboard where members can quickly view upcoming meetings, news, announcements, and open polls. They can also easily access the newest version of the board book, the current roster and calendar, and the document repository. In addition, board members who use the mobile app never have to download documents manually; when they log on, all of the information is automatically updated and synced.
BoardBookIt costs $1200 annually for non-profit organizations. Included in that cost is access for up to 15 users and 12-hour per day tech support. For each additional member added to the plan, the cost increases by $200. It is a great option for small to mid-size arts organizations with some resources to invest in board technology and the desire to take advantage of a board portal that maximizes web and mobile capabilities to create an intuitive, usable product.