Making the Case for High-Quality Board Portal Software

Diana Baker Freeman
4 min read

Let's face it. Sometimes we can feel like we're shouting our wisdom into a void. After all, there's a reason the ancient story of Cassandra ' a prophet cursed with true sight yet hamstrung by the inability to convince others ' remains a relatable tale from Greek mythology.

To get anywhere in your governance career, you quickly learn that bringing others around to your vision is just as important as your vision itself. Arguably, it's more important. Because what good does it do to have the answer, if no one will listen?

The tumult of 2020 has lent itself to big changes and potential for improvement in local governance, whether for city council leaders or school board members. The issues faced by these groups both before and during 2020 are clear to all. The solutions? They're right there as well, waiting for a persuasive presentation and key data to be shared for approval.

Let's take a look at some of the common problems your organization is facing today, how Diligent board management software can solve them, and ' just as importantly ' how to convince your fellow leaders that you've found the correct path to take.

You Can Create Efficiencies

Issue: 'New software is just one more expense, and the budget is already tight. How will we recoup the expenditure?'

Making the case for a new budget line item is almost always taking on a battle. Disagreements over taxes and what those taxes should pay for are another battleground in today's partisan divide that challenges governmental entities. As a result, every cost needs to be evaluated for the value it brings to your organization.

Simultaneously, governance meeting management is a huge commitment of time for team members and the administrative staff that support them. By reducing the administrative burden on members and staff, resources can be reallocated in more effective, meaningful directions.

Your board portal software is a certain way to manage time and costs. Tasks that take hours or days using traditional methods ' generating meeting minutes, recording votes, editing documents and managing archives ' can be reduced to a fraction of the time.

'We are saving at least what it cost for me to stand and run copies every week ' close to $10,000 a year just in personnel cost.' ' Staci King, City Secretary, Stephenville, TX

You Can Protect Sensitive Information

Issue: 'We're using email to share information around our meetings and governance issues. That's secure enough.'

Email as a medium is not designed for secure transmission of information, and any one of your board or council members can be targeted by scams that exploit their passwords or other sensitive information. Consider the statistic that 66% of Americans reuse passwords across social media, banking and email accounts. As a result, a large-scale hack of an unrelated website could expose your members' email accounts to fraudulent activity. Consequently, your organization's private and sensitive data would also be at risk.

Using a secure board portal service like Diligent's BoardDocs, Community or iCompass protects your organization's sensitive data and ensures that it is findable without undue risk.

'It's all online, it is secure, it is one of the best e-governance systems that I have seen. And I have worked with some others. And BoardDocs really streamlines it for us.' ' Nancy Conover, Senior Board Specialist, Orange County Public Schools

You Can Improve Access and Community Information

Issue: 'Our traditional system is good enough to keep our community engaged and informed. Isn't it?'

Public expectations are evolving with the changing demographics of parents and community members. Methods that previously were sufficient in maintaining public engagement ' think mail, manually updated websites and robocalls ' are no longer meeting the needs of digitally savvy generations. Up-to-date and reliable information that is accessible around the clock through multiple devices is now an expectation, not a luxury.

Providing a single source of truth for current and historical materials and meeting information, your board portal software ensures:

  • Your team members' confidence in the work they're doing
  • Your community members can access consistent and accurate information on their own terms
  • The relationship between your board or council and the populations it serves is strengthened

Take This Plan to Your Board or Council

Wanting to improve your organization's security, efficiency and community relations is an effort worth undertaking, even when dealing with common objections from your team members. Want the plan broken down with clear action items? Tell us your role for a directed document to bolster your efforts to make the case:

You're not on your own making the case for improvements to how your board or council operates. With Diligent's board portal software solutions and the needs they meet and exceed, you and your team members will see the immediate benefits for your organization and community.
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Diana Baker Freeman
Diana Baker Freeman is a governance specialist with many years and varied experience in board development. She holds an MS in Education Leadership, teaching in both public schools and at the university level. Her experience in classrooms led her to be an enthusiastic advocate for education. After being elected as a school board member she became intrigued with the field of governance, developing a deeper understanding of the role of board member, and how that could lead to improved educational outcomes. As a public school trustee, Diana was nominated and accepted to the yearlong leadership academy, Leadership TASB, through the Texas Association of School Boards, graduating that course as a Master Trustee. Diana became a Board Development Consultant for the Texas Association of School Boards and later as an independent consultant. She has led boards through strategic planning, goal setting, as well as ethics training and examination of roles and responsibilities of board members. She has presented at various state-wide, regional, and national conferences and developed online training for TASB as well as the Southern Regional Training Consortium. She brings her experience to BoardDocs/Diligent in order to further her work in the field of governance.