Streamlining elections and decision-making
Charities can vary in governance structure. Some are led by self-perpetuating boards, meaning there are no voting members outside the board of directors, while others are composed of voting memberships, where all members participate in the election of the board of directors. Charities might also be organized into various committees which are focused on specific tasks and can be led by elected officers or volunteer staff.
Regardless of how your charity is structured, though, online voting solutions can help simplify the different decision-making processes that help you achieve your goals. Let’s take a look at a few examples:
Whether your board of directors follows a self-perpetuating model or is elected by voting members, an online voting tool like Scytl’s Invote can be used to streamline election organization and make participation easy.
Prior to the election, and with the help of your online voting provider, you will set up the online ballot and send voting credentials to all eligible voters. On election day, voters can log on to the online voting portal with their secure credentials and cast their ballots in just a few clicks. Results are then calculated automatically and available in minutes.
Using an online voting tool means that voters can participate from anywhere, using their own personal devices. This is particularly helpful in charities with large voting memberships, as all members might not be able to attend an in-person annual general meeting, when these elections typically occur. While online voting systems like Invote can also accommodate proxy voting, if needed, their implementation often also reduces the need, ensuring equal access to the election process.
Before selecting an online voting provider, it is important to ensure that the solution they offer meets your election requirements, including flexibility for different election systems, like simple majority or ranked voting, and various vote types, like multiple choice, preferential, and weighted vote options.
Meetings and Decisions
Beyond elections, online voting can also be used to help facilitate better decision-making. For example, boards often hold a variety of meetings, including an annual general meeting, regular board meetings throughout the year, and special meetings to address specific topics that come up unexpectedly. Similarly, charity committees may hold meetings to review their goals and progress. In each of these scenarios, a solution like Meeting Manager can be used for greater efficiency.
With an online meeting solution in place, a meeting’s agenda items can be added to the online portal in advance. Whether participating in-person or remotely, attendees can then access the online portal with secure credentials once the meeting begins and can vote on each item from their own personal devices.
Depending on how the meeting is organized, items can be opened for voting one at a time, or all at once. Additionally, agenda items can be added and edited throughout the meeting should something be proposed in the conversation.
There’s also no need for two separate online voting solutions if your self-perpetuating board elects new members during meetings. Simply add the election as an item on your agenda and proceed with the vote.
Meeting administrators can observe participation in real time, and final results are instantly tallied and can be shared online once each item is closed. Links and information about a meeting video conference can also be provided within the platform to ensure members can participate virtually.
Just as in online voting for elections, an online meeting management solution helps boost participation, giving attendees the option to participate from any location. They can also help foster great trust in the decisions that result from such meetings, as all eligible attendees feel they have an equal opportunity to participate, and results are made instantly available.
There is no doubt that online voting solutions can offer charities greater efficiency and increased engagement when it comes to electing a board of directors and holding decision-making meetings. In addition to these benefits, it’s also important to consider the security mechanisms offered by a given online voting provider, in order to ensure that all votes and sensitive data are protected. With the right solution in place, your charity can be confident in the decisions made during meetings and elections.