The practice of sharing materials among the players in shared governance -- that is, members of the board, the administration, and the faculty -- can be challenging. Because the materials cover complex, often confidential issues, the mechanism for sharing must be secure. It also must be straightforward, easy to use, and not too time consuming.

Board portal software can be a great solution to these challenges, but the cost is often prohibitively expensive, especially for small institutions such as theological schools. Last fall, we surveyed members about their experiences with board portals, and we found that only 16 percent of respondents used external board portal software at their schools. (See some of the survey results here.)

Idealware, an organization that helps nonprofits make software decisions, recently published “A Few Good Tools: Board Portals and Other Ways to Collaborate.” The article delves into the complexities of board collaboration tools, portals, and other solutions. Solutions range from adaptation of free file sharing services (like Dropbox and Google) to the more expensive dedicated board portal options.

If you are thinking about how to better share materials and collaborate with your school’s partners in shared governance, we recommend the article. You can read it here.

And we’d love to hear how you currently collaborate with your shared governance partners. Please share your best practices in the comments section.