Board decision papers provide the board because of the information they will need to understand, shape and generate decisions that will determine the fate of an enterprise. They can become the source of controversies and legal action if they are not written good enough or in the event they possess incorrect info.

A good board paper must first identify the purpose ~ information only, discussion or seeking a choice – of course, if seeking a decision, then the specific wording of this resolution to become put to the board that would appear in the meeting or so minutes (if approved without amendment). It is in that case important to provide the background in the matter to be considered by board. This could include an executive outline (not more than a single section of four – your five lines) and a brief explanation of the recommended resolution and what the outcome will be. A brief summary of alternatives should be included if relevant, along with a description of how the preferred recommendation was selected and key criteria used to measure success.

The old fashioned paper should then provide details of how the pitch will line up, support or advance decided strategic and business plans. It should also highlight any significant monetary implications belonging to the decision and any major risks nonprofit board for a fundraising campaign that need to be thought of. Any detailed technical details or statistics should be given in sortie so that the key body within the paper is targeted on the major issues that the board must consider.