Encouraging virtual meetings
Many organizations are being forced to halt operations consistent with stay home orders issued by various governmental authorities. This may impede your previous way of doing business, including the scheduling of Board of Director’s meetings and/or voting on organizational policies. Postponement may not be the right decision, so it’s important to investigate your options.
But your policies may require in person meetings! In extenuating circumstances, such as health and safety emergency in your community, a board or other governing body may consider several options:
- Temporarily suspend particular provisions of a board policy.
- Allow a special dispensation for electronic or virtual voting.
- Amend the Bylaws or other operating document(s) to allow for virtual attendance at meetings.
Organizations should consult with their attorney about the best fit for them.
Additional items to consider
- Use virtual meeting platforms such as Zoom, GoToMeeting™, Infinite Conferencing, Skype, Webex or other platforms that will allow for connection by any member.
- Provide necessary accommodations for individuals with disabilities in your organization.
- Ensure that an individual, such as the secretary or president, is present to set up and start the virtual meeting, call it to order and take roll call. You should also appoint someone to take minutes.
- Practice virtual meeting etiquette: identify who you are before you speak, mute phones when not speaking, call on people for their input.