Long periods between meetings can be a headache for busy trustees.
To make life easier, there are digital tools to help. We go over the best collaboration tools and tips to ensure that trustees stay on top of every issue.
The need for a dedicated digital space
To prepare for the role, trustees need a dedicate online space. A digital ‘desk’ ensures that documents are stored safely and securely.
A charity domain email is also helpful if your trustee is open to checking the account. Since they often are not employees of the organisation, it’s important to be aware of the privacy and security issues around what is being shared.
Google Workspace includes email, calendar, meeting, and cloud storage services. From there, charities can share documents and arrange meetings. The platform is also fully equipped for hybrid working.
As an alternative to Google, Notion offers note taking, activity lists, and clippings to help stay organised. Notion blends both professional and personal goals, so there’s no need to download two different platforms. Individuals can use Notion for free, but additional functionality comes with a subscription.
Security is another concern to think about. Similar to employees, trustees may connect to charity servers. Endpoint protection systems defends against computers tapping in from elsewhere.
Professional vendors use a layered approach, blending traditional cybersecurity software with digital security. Many developers also offer free software. At Charity Digital, we recommend using a paid subscription to maximise protection.
The importance of preparing for meetings
Engaging in meetings and dispensing advice to senior leaders is a crucial part of being a trustee. Most of the time, board meetings are the way to do this.
With many trustees dashing in and out of other obligations, scheduling is key. Charities should take advantage of Doodle. Doodle collects available meeting times and shows organisers which times are open for everyone.
For those stepping up their digital skills, Calendly is an online booking system that works for both charities and individual trustees. The app integrates with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, Salesforce, Hubspot, and others, so users can coordinate across platforms. Best of all, Calendly automatically sends meeting confirmations and reminders so meetings don’t have to be a last-minute affair.
Ahead of board meetings, trustees may also want to exchange documents. Cloud storage is a great way to securely share, comment on, and edit documents.
To set the scene, Basecamp’s project management tool offers storage and organisation. With every project comes a dashboard summarising the project, along with notes and next steps. Individual subscriptions come with 1GB of storage and is free.
Running smooth, efficient meetings
The NCVO says that effective communication tools make the best out of meetings. The organisation suggests that using digital communications tools enhances discussions.
For hybrid working environments, tools like Zoom and Teams preserve meeting recordings and chats. Best of all, many meeting platforms offer free subscriptions for charities.