Designing a Formal, Full-Board Proposal

How to Design a Formal Full-Board Proposal
How to Design a Formal Full-Board Proposal

Board of Trustees

When a Board committee or Trustee is on the agenda to present a proposal to the Board, expect him or her to come thoroughly prepared. The following template helps in organizing a proposal presentation. Send formal proposals electronically or by mail to all Trustees a week before the meeting, to allow review of the ideas.

  • Purpose of the presentation. Briefly describe what strategic plan goal or annual Board agenda item your presentation supports.
  • Background. In one or two paragraphs, outline the research (include supporting documents) conducted to reach the proposal recommendation (e.g., X number of alumni parents were selected for the survey; Y number of alumni parents responded).
  • Board action sought. What do you want the Board to do with the information, recommendation, or proposal you are bringing before the members? If you are uncertain, consult with the Board President well in advance.
  • Financial implications. Does your proposal have a financial impact? If so, is that financial impact already included within the limits set by the strategic financial plan? Have you consulted with the Finance Committee Chair on this question? If you decide the proposal recommendations call for an adjustment in the strategic financial plan, consider asking the Finance Committee Chair to address that issue as part of the presentation.
  • Recommendation for action. What action is clearly suggested? What are the ramifications of moving forward in the manner you suggest? Why is this the best choice? What alternatives have you explored?
  • Impact on other Board committees or on the school administration. Does carrying out your proposal impact other units of the Board or school management? Have you consulted with the affected leaders (e.g., committee Chairs and the School Head) so their responses are known?
  • Comments. Include any other relevant remarks or supporting documents that seem useful. Incorporate a concise statement of the consequences of failure to act, unless that has become obvious when discussing the alternatives earlier in the presentation. Always keep in mind that full-Board proposals and committee functions should align with and support your school’s strategic plan. This should always be at the core of every Board presentation.

Additional ISM resources:
The Source for Trustees Vol. 13 No. 1 An Enhanced Agenda for the Strategic Board
The Source for Trustees Vol. 11 No. 7 Ten Essential Rules for Productive Meetings

Additional ISM resources for members:
I&P Vol. 41 No. 12 Refocus Your Board Agenda and Your Board Minutes
I&P Vol. 37 No. 14 Action-Oriented Agendas for Successful Board Meetings

Volume Number
Volume 17
Issue Number
Image of a teacher and students in class
Image of a teacher and students in class

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