10 Tips for Board of Directors of Alumni Associations

Ten tips for board of directors of alumni associations

Apr 17


Alumni Associations:

Most universities have alumni associations, which is an association of graduates. Alumni associations promote and encourage the general welfare of the organization in the community.

 We have been conducting interview’s of notable people in the nonprofit sector, and those that serve on boards to help our new web-based collaboration tool (Board Management) as way for us to become a platform for information, that will help nonprofits run more effectively and help boards to better communicate amongst each-other. We hope alumni associations can use the following information as helpful tips for their current and future association endeavors.

Tips For Alumni Associations:

  1. Make an annual plan/agenda: An agenda will help a board focus on the things it must do and the things it should work on. Map out your goals for the following year, always be prepared. Find the right balance between reviewing your past performance and dealing with the future.

  1. Having the right frequency of board meetings: Typically the frequency of board meetings are conducted: Annually, Semi-annually, Quarterly, Other. In mature organizations, quarterly meetings is the norm. For early stage organizations, board meetings should be held once a month to ensure it is effectively reviewing every decision and business issue. Each board should determine its own meeting frequency.

  1. Keep out of town meetings to a minimum: Out of town meetings bring a degree of inconvenience. Try to host a yearly board retreat, retreats provide a safe place to promote creative thinking and encourage innovation.

  1. Always distribute the agenda before a meeting: An agenda is a framework that guides the meeting. An agenda should be distributed prior to all meetings so all board members are on the same page. Board members should have an idea of the purpose, key decisions, and actions that will occur. An agenda will help keep structure and keep the group focused at all times.

  1. Always control the duration of agendas in a meeting. Make sure presenters are aware of their time allowance: Honor agenda time limits, if someone is speaking too long, get them back on track, or ask for agreement from all members to go beyond the agreed upon time.

  1. Always store board meeting minutes: Board meeting minutes is a form of record-keeping for organizations. They provide key information such as major decisions made, actions, events, and elections. If your board of directors is using Board Management, you’ll have the ability to upload your board meeting minutes to one location for all to access.

  1. Effectively manage your board and stay organized: Work together to plan, monitor and review your boards objectives. Provide on-going feedback to ensure that everyone is meeting their objectives and goals. Make sure your board is working in a collaborative effort to achieve all responsibilities of the organization. This keeps the organization running smoothly and soundly, as long as everyone is on the same page.

  1. All alumni association’s should actively search for prospective board members, even if there are no current vacancies: Individuals that bring a wide range of perspectives and thoughts that will help in achieving the mission of your organization are vital. It’s not all about filling in the gap, it’s about finding leaders that will put the vision of the organization into action. Boards tend to have turnover, having potential individuals in place will take the pressure off immensely.

  1. Actively Promote Board Involvement: The best board members want to use their talents to make a difference. A boards makeup should change as the institution’s goals and objectives change, it is important to stay involved with the university.

  1. Have a strong set of bylaws that the organization can work off of: Bylaws are considered an operating manual for an organization. Bylaws are an important framework, that govern the actions of an organization. 



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