Board members need to focus on their organizational responsibilities – not administrative hassles. Board governance software helps boards maximize their meetings, through a designated board portal.
No two boards are the same, and the same is true for board governance software. To save you time, I’ve prepared a list of the best board governance software below, with notes on their main uses. These modern systems are all paperless, making it easier for board members to collaborate, no matter where they are.
Wondering what I look for when selecting the best board governance software? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): I look for software with a clean and uncluttered interface that also works on mobile devices too.
- Usability: I prioritize software that’s straightforward and easy-to-use, including helpful features like automatic reminders and other collaboration tools to make the back-and-forth tasks of board management easier.
- Integrations: Software integrations with commonly used digital calendar programs are appreciated since they make meeting scheduling easier.
- Value for $: While I always prefer software with transparent pricing, sometimes those details are only available upon request. Typically, prices are determined by the size of your organization and the amount of software users you’ll have. Many systems do support reduced prices for non-profit organizations or small businesses though.
Board Governance Software: Key Features
Here’s a summary of the main features you can expect to find within the best board governance software:
- Meeting invites & scheduling tools: The ability to determine meeting details and distribute invites from within the system.
- Agenda builder tools: Dynamic and fully digital meeting agendas including designated time limits and people assignments for each portion, and embedded reference documents.
- Document storage: The best systems will automatically store documents like meeting agendas and meeting minutes, and give you extra storage space for additional corporate reference documents too.
- Document annotation tools: To improve collaboration, users should be able to annotate documents with comments, questions, highlights and other notes as needed.
- Discussion & chat tools: Different ways of communicating with other board members, including discussions on specific files, or 1:1 communication channels with individuals.
- Task tracking tools: Features that allow board members to create a list of action items, and track their progress towards completion. Many also allow you to tag people who are responsible for each item too, to improve accountability among the group.
- Voting & survey tools: This feature helps with classic board functions like voting on resolutions and gathering other types of board member feedback, either within or outside of meetings.
- E-signature functionality: Having the ability to digitally approve and sign documents electronically improves efficiency and reduces paper use.
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Overviews Of The 10 Best Board Governance Software
Below you’ll find a brief description of each board management software that explains their noteworthy features, with screenshots to give a snapshot of the user interface.
Boardable’s board meeting software helps board members simplify communication, streamline meeting processes, and reduce administrative friction. Their software works for both in-person, virtual, and hybrid meetings. Key features include a meeting scheduling tool, document sharing functionalities, a people directory, discussions and polls, and progress tracking tools.
Their software includes many advanced features that board executives will appreciate. Their Agenda Builder tool allows you to plan out each portion of your meeting, including assigning key people and time limits for each segment to ensure the meeting stays on track. You can also add inline documents right into the agenda, with an added ability for meeting attendees to open all attached documents with one click. Meeting templates can also be saved for future use too, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel for each and every meeting.
Their Meeting Page pulls all relevant information sources together in one place, so you can join a meeting, answer a poll, access the agenda, or open reference documents with ease. Once you’re ready to start your meeting, their Boardable Spotlight feature places your meeting agenda on screen next to your fellow attendees, so it’s easier to stay focused than switching tabs or screens to review items being discussed. Boardable also includes goal and task tracking abilities, plus built-in reports and discussion tools, to ensure progress doesn’t halt once the meeting is over.
Boardable integrates with Google and Microsoft products, as well as Apple iCalendar, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Yahoo Calendar, and Zoom. Their system is also fully accessible from tablet or mobile devices and includes Apple and Android mobile apps.
Pricing for Boardable starts at $149 USD per month for 5 users, with additional 5-user bundles available for $40 USD extra per month. They have a freemium plan with limited features for up to 2 meeting guests. You can also request a free demo or a 14-day free trial through their website.
Diligent helps leaders, directors, and third parties collaborate and track information from across their organization to make informed decisions and meet business goals. Their system can be used to manage board, committee and leadership meetings, as well as individual entities and subsidiaries for multinational corporations. Within their software users can automate workflows, communicate securely, and personalize their own dashboards to track whatever metrics matter to them the most.
Their software is well-suited for enterprise-level organizations who need additional resources managing their governance processes. Diligent’s software suite includes tools to support auditing, risk management, compliance and ESG (environmental, social and governance) goals. Their platform can also be used to visualize corporate structures, stickhandle mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and become audit ready. To help boards operate more efficiently, their Modern Governance solution digitizes board books and meeting materials, including agendas and meeting minutes, board evaluations and questionnaires.
Diligent has integrations with Microsoft Teams, Messenger, Okta, and SecurityScorecard. Other integrations are available, though specific software platforms are not mentioned on their website.
Pricing details for Diligent are available upon request. You can also request a free demo and a free trial through their website.
OnBoard is a business intelligence platform specifically designed to support digital board meetings. Their software aims to unify communications and streamline data & analytics tracking to help board members make more effective decisions.
Their drag-and-drop board meeting agenda builder helps you organize key topics and assign owners to them. From their board meeting minutes builder you can also edit your meeting agenda, assign tasks to participants, and track meeting attendance and other tasks. OnBoard works in tandem with Zoom, meaning participants never have to leave the system to join a video meeting—they can connect to the session right from their meeting agenda page instead.
Advanced features in OnBoard’s system include the ability to run voting and approval surveys & questionnaires, and detailed engagement analytics that give insight into the content board members are accessing the most. Users can also message each other 1:1 or engage in group chats within a securely protected environment.
Their document management capabilities also make it easy to import and share files in many different common formats. To make document review easier, users can use annotation tools to highlight, draw or add sticky notes to files. The system also has embedded document control features so you can determine who can review and/or edit particular items at a very granular level.
OnBoard integrates with ADP, Google Drive, Govenda, Zoom Meetings, and Microsoft 365, including Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint. Their software is also fully accessible from Android and iOS mobile devices too.
Pricing details for OnBoard are available upon request. You can also request a free trial through their website.
Ansarada Board is a well-known and trusted board management software solution that’s used by many big-name companies including Visa, Coca Cola, Nestle, Shell, Quantas, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Deloitte, KPMG, Rothschild & Co., and Credit Suisse. In fact, the top 100 banks worldwide make up 80% of their customers.
Their platform helps board members create board packs, set meeting agendas, record meeting minutes, assign action items, store digital files, vote on resolutions, and e-sign digital documents. More advanced features in their system include alerts for new content, real-time analytics, smart folders, syncing annotations across devices, and side-by-side document comparisons. Their system also logs an audit trail which records who has reviewed or annotated a document and when, making it easier for administrative support staff to track updates.
Ansarada Board has integrations with commonly used software tools like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and others. They also have native apps for iPhone/iPad and Windows 10 devices too.
Ansarada Board has a freemium plan with limited features for an individual board or committee, or their paid plans start at $85 USD/user/month.
iDeals Virtual Board Room is a cloud-based platform that facilitates digital communication and document exchange for distributed board members. It’s powered by their parent platform iDeals Virtual Data Room, which is a secure platform intended for high-level administrative deals such as mergers and acquisitions (M&A).
iDeals Virtual Board Room allows users to distribute pre-meeting board materials, track updates on key activities, and access corporate documentation both online and offline. Their Q&A feature shown above facilitates two-way communication between board members where questions can be ranked and escalated depending on their status. They also have a full-text search feature to quickly locate information, and an audit trail that is SOX-compliant.
Their system boasts military-grade security features, which are compliant with ISO/IEC 27001:2013, GDPR, HIPAA, SOC 1 and 2 standards. To prevent unauthorized document distribution they use dynamic watermarks on content, and a Fence View which prevents items from being shared through screen capture or screen printing. They also have a remote wipe feature that can revoke file access at the individual user level across all devices.
iDeals integrates with many single sign-on providers such as Active Directory, AuthAnvil, Bitium, Centrify, JumpCloud, MiniOrange, Okta, OneLogin, Ping Identity, and RSA.
Pricing details for iDeals are only available upon request. You can also request a 30-day free trial through their website too.
Convene’s board management platform gives executives a digital toolbox where they can share documents, collaborate in real-time, and connect through enhanced video conferencing. Formerly known as Azeus Convene, their board portal software can be used to expedite common processes such as voting on resolutions using their live voting feature, and approving documents through their integrated e-signature functionality. Their document collaboration tools also make it easy to highlight sections of documents, make notes, or add action items tagged to specific co-workers, all from within a live virtual meeting.
To get the most out of your virtual board meetings, Convene’s integrated video conferencing allows you to make a video recording of the session, plus it will generate a post-meeting transcription automatically too. This is a helpful feature as it ensures any board member who was absent can still catch up after-the-fact. As well, having a written transcription can also be useful for record-keeping purposes too.
Convene’s platform also has excellent security features, including two-factor authentication, several ISO certifications, AES-256 encryption, and a remote wipe feature that removes document permissions immediately, as needed. Their software is also SOC compliant and SSAE 16 certified.
Convene’s mobile app integrates with video conferencing platforms like Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Skype, WebEx and Zoom.
Pricing details for Convene are only available upon request. You can also request a free demo or a 21-day free trial through their website.
BoardEffect is a modern board governance software solution that’s well-suited for nonprofit organizations, higher education institutions and healthcare governance boards. Their comprehensive system is designed to support all phases of a typical board cycle.
Their meeting cycle tools help with scheduling meetings, creating online board books, tracking tasks and managing approvals. To help with annual board responsibilities, BoardEffect includes tools for surveys and evaluations, budgeting and auditing, and compliance. As well, you can use their system as a digital repository for all of your corporate documents, like policies and procedures, that may need an annual review.
One area that stood out to me when assessing BoardEffect’s software are the features in their board development cycle. Since board members often serve terms of 3 to 5 years, it’s important to have a well-developed cycle for recruiting and training new board members on an ongoing basis. BoardEffect can help with this by streamlining the onboarding process for new board members, giving them a digital run down of all the information they’ll need to become an effective board member. I envision this being really valuable for boards with high turnover, and it’s not something I’ve seen included in other board management software either.
Pricing details for BoardEffect are only available upon request. You can also request a free demo through their website.
Nasdaq Boardvantage’s Board Portal is designed both for board directors, committees, and executive leadership teams, and the administrative teams who support them, including secretaries, administrators, and information technology & security professionals. It’s currently used by several large, notable companies including Starbucks, P&G, Lenovo, Suncor Energy and AAA. Their system simplifies the exchange of confidential information and acts as a centralized repository for important board documents. It also supports voting and approval processes, as well as surveys and questionnaires to gather feedback.
Aside from the typical functions you’d expect in a board management portal, Nasdaq Boardvantage also offers services to help you implement member evaluations and ensure your board of directors is functioning well. Their Board Advisory Team can work with your executive committee to develop a customized evaluation process based on your organization’s distinct objectives and needs. Once your evaluation process has launched, director feedback is collected and compiled into a report that features a heat map, skills matrix, priority graph, anonymized responses, action points and key findings.
Nasdaq Boardvantage is available on-premise, or as SaaS (software-as-a-service), depending on your organization’s needs. Their system also has integrations with Microsoft Teams and Zoom, to simplify the video conference process.
Pricing details for Nasdaq Boardvantage are only available upon request. You can also request a free demo through their website.
ContractZen is a cloud-based service that combines board meeting management with contract management and virtual data room capabilities. Their system is built on top of robust meta-data driven technology that simplifies document storage through searchable meta tags, and other helpful features like the ability to set reminders for critical contract dates to ensure no deadlines are missed.
You can use ContractZen to schedule board meetings, develop agenda’s and track meeting minutes. Their system also supports task management including tools to prioritize items and collaborate with other board members. To help teams grappling with joint ventures or M&A situations, ContractZen also has built-in virtual data rooms where you can store the financial, tax and other legal documents that are required during due diligence processes.
ContractZen integrates with digital signature platforms including Adobe Sign, Assently, DocuSign, SignHero and Visma Sign. They also have native integrations with Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Outlook, and other single-sign on systems including Microsoft Azure.
Pricing for ContractZen starts at $9.50 USD/user/month. If you work for a nonprofit organization, contact them to inquire about a nonprofit discount. You can also request a free demo or a 30-day free trial through their website.
BoardPro’s board management software helps teams streamline their administrative processes like setting agendas, creating board packs, taking meeting minutes and assigning actions. Their software includes an agenda builder with pre-loaded templates, or you can develop your own and then clone it for future meetings.
Their agenda builder is straightforward to use thanks to their drag-and-drop building blocks. You can also embed document links directly into the agenda, with no limits on how many files you can attach. Once an agenda’s published, your embedded documents automatically form your board pack. You can then open them in the Board Pack view to make additional digital notations using their in-app annotation tools. It’s also possible to assign automatic reminders to documents, or track notes, decisions or action items in meeting minutes as well. When publishing a board pack, any action items are automatically sent to their action owners as well, to keep all board members on point.
Their Governance Repository automatically stores all your published agendas, board packs and meeting minutes in chronological order, making it simple to find what you’re looking for quickly. To keep sensitive information locked down, BoardPro allows you to set user permissions, use document locks, and restrict other key functions like printing and downloading. Users will also appreciate their governance folders—including unlimited storage space—that can be used to store other types of corporate documents that board members may need to reference.
Pricing for BoardPro is transparent in that they are upfront about their industry-specific price variations. To start things off, you can test drive their Quick Start package for a one-time fee of $600 USD, which lets you host 1 meeting for up to 10 people. A discounted price is also available if you work at a nonprofit organization. You can also request a free demo or a 30-day free trial through their website.
The 10 Best Board Governance Software Summary
14 days free trial + free demo
|From $149 USD per month for 5 users||Check out Boardable|
Free trial available
|Pricing upon request||Check out Diligent|
Free trial available
|Pricing upon request||Check out OnBoard|
|From $85 USD/user/month||Check out Ansarada Board|
30 days free trial
|Pricing upon request||Visit Website|
21 days free trial + free demo
|Pricing upon request||Check out Convene|
Free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Check out BoardEffect|
Free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Visit Website|
30 days free trial + free demo
|From $9.50 USD/user/month||Check out ContractZen|
30 days free trial + free demo
|From $600 USD to test drive 1 meeting for 10 people||Check out BoardPro|
Other Board Governance Software Options
Here are a few more options that didn’t make the best board governance software list:
- Govenda – Scalable board portal software with document repository and device syncing during presentations
- BoardMaps – Straightforward board software for scheduling virtual meetings and distributing board material
- BoardPaq – Affordable, full-feature board management software with special pricing available for small organizations.
- BoardDocs – Modern governance software specifically designed to support public education boards with analytics and insights.
- Board Director – All-in-one board portal software for organizing meetings, facilitating team collaboration, and storing documents securely – available as a free trial.
- DiliTrust Governance Suite – Functional board meeting management software with ISO 27001 certification to ensure your data stays secure.
- Board Management – Collaborative board portal software with in-depth task management features – available as a 30-day free trial.
- BoardPAC – Functional, mobile friendly board governance software, available on premise or as a cloud-hosted SaaS.
- Simbli by eBOARDsolutions – Well-designed board management solution built for school boards, hospitals, homeowners associations, non-profits, and government agencies.
- Directorpoint – User-friendly board management software with activity and engagement reports, annotation tools, and digital voting capabilities.
What Are the Benefits of Board Governance Software?
Wondering if investing in board governance software is worth the cost? Here are some of the main benefits you can expect to gain from using board governance software:
- Reduced board administration time and costs
By digitizing the process, your administrative support team can create and update board books much faster and easier than in traditional paper format, saving time and money.
- Digital document repository that is searchable
Again, the digital nature of these documents makes searching for items much easier. Could you imagine sifting through pages of printed documents to find what you’re looking for?
- Increased tracking, accountability, and transparency
With dynamic meeting agendas and detailed tracking tools that specify who is responsible for each metric, tracking, accountability, and in-group transparency has never been easier, with no room for gray areas or opportunities for tasks to fall through the cracks.
- Increased engagement through ongoing collaboration
A digital board portal allows for engagement around-the-clock—not just within meetings. Modern features like surveys and voting tools also help to keep engagement high too.
- Tight digital security keeps your data safe
Due to the nature of board governance, top-level security measures are important. Board governance software, in general, has very high level security features, including advanced permission settings and protection to prevent unauthorized access, printing or sharing of documents.
Need Expert Help Selecting The Right Board Management Software?
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What Do You Think of This List?
I hope this article gave you a thorough overview of how board governance software can transform your board meeting processes.
Have you used any board governance tools that aren’t included in this list? Let me know in the comments below.
Still looking for more options? We also have a list of the best board meeting software here too.
You might also appreciate these wise words of advice from Harvard Business Review on What Makes Great Boards Great.
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