Is it hard to get all your board members together at one time? How do you share files or information? Are all of your conversations in different places?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions then this may be a helpful article for you. I’m writing this from experience working with board members from all over the country and region. Some of the tactics I’ve tried in the past include phone conferences, Skype calls and email list serves. What I’ve found is that during meetings people come in and out of the call, lose connections and emails get lost.
Which brings up the question: Whatya’ going to Google about it?
Last week at the I/O Conference in San Francisco Google announced their new features for Google+ and Google Hangout. The idea is for you to “fuhgeddaboudit (the technology, that is), and focus on what really matters: creating lasting relationships.” This means you can have a truly interactive conversation with board members regardless of where they are, integrate Google documents, share presentations, photos, have voice and chat conversations at the same time and tag relevant posts. Google Hangouts and Google+ can be applied to people with different levels of technology comfort on multiple devices without losing conversation or data.
Here are the Google+ basics:
- Have your board members set up a Google ID (You do not have to have a Gmail to have a Google ID they can use their current email address)
- Set up a Google+ Profile. At the top of any Google page will be an option to link to your G+ profile.
Tip: If privacy is an issue for your board members they can choose custom settings within their profile. You do not need to fill out every section for it to be setup.
- Set up a Google Community for your board. Here’s a good link for a set by step on setting up a Community. If your organization already has a Google+ Page then go to –> Communities –> Create New Community. If you don’t have a organization page you can set up a community from your profile. However, for SEO purposes it’s good to have a page (Google awards organizations that use Google products)
- Add or invite board members to join.
- Tip: You can change privacy settings on this as well. Go to the settings to change how notifications are sent out.
- You can do the following in a Google Community:
- Share photos, videos and conversations
- Have alerts go into your inbox (or not)
- Put things into categories
- Have Google Hangouts
- Use # tags to follow conversations i.e. #BoardFundraising
4. Once your board has joined the community you can now have a Google Hangout. Hangouts allow you to do the following:
- See up to 10 people’s faces at one time (You can opt to have a picture instead just incase you have bed head in your meeting )
- Share documents on Google Drive
- Take notes together
- Share you screen
- Chat at the same time
- Collaborate on projects
- Share Youtube videos
- Have funny costumes5. Set up a Google Drive folder for your board:
- In Google Drive go to –> Create New Folder
- After naming your folder you want to change the settings
- Easiest way to avoid complications is to make the folder accessible to anyone with a link and they can edit anything in the folder. This way when people forget passwords or IDs they just need the link to access.
- Invite board members to the folder. You can add a message and send a copy to yourself for reference.
Tip: Whenever you upload a new document to the folder, you can email collaborators to share changes.
There is a lot to Google Drive and Google Docs but we’ll save that for another day. This information should get you started on getting your board members “on board” for all-in-one collaboration.
We’d also love for you to join our community “Stewards of Fundraising” be part of our Beta group and help us grow!