Tailoring Formal Proposals for the Board
Vol. 14 No. 10
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 can help Trustees to organize proposal presentations.
- Purpose of the presentation. Briefly describe what strategic plan goal or annual Board agenda item your presentation supports (e.g., presenting the results of the alumni parent survey: supports development of comprehensive Parent Education Plan, presenting the budget).
- 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? What alternatives have you explored? Why is this the best choice?
- Impact on other Board committees or on the 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. 10 An Enhanced Agenda for the Strategic Board
Additional ISM resources for Gold Consortium members:
I&P Vol. 37 No. 14 Action-Oriented Agendas for Successful Board Meetings