College of Charleston Foundation
How OnBoard Helped a Vital Higher Ed Organization Get More Organized and Survive the Move to Virtual Meetings
Board Size: 21 Members
Board Management Goals
- Effectively distributing meeting information and materials
- Organizing old meetings, documents, minutes, and resources into a single archive
- Move to virtual meetings
- Streamlined the process of communicating meeting information and sharing associated documents
- Organized resources and archived important documents
- Made it easy to switch from physical, in-person events to virtual meetings using OnBoard’s native Zoom integration
It’s no understatement to say that history is important at the College of Charleston. Founded in 1770, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in South Carolina and the 13th oldest in the United States. Upholding this proud three century tradition is the College of Charleston Foundation, whose mission is “to promote programs of education, research, student development and faculty development for the exclusive benefit of the College of Charleston.”
Before implementing OnBoard, however, the Foundation’s Board of Directors did not have an efficient system for archiving and accessing organizational documents. This led to confusion and disorganization.
“We were sending documents out and hoping people would hang on to them. We didn’t really house a lot of our records, documents, and manuals in a place that was accessible to all the board members at any time,” says Hanna Spencer, Executive Assistant and Board Liaison at the College of Charleston. “Instead of having access to those things that they need, board members were searching through their email or contacting the Executive Director asking him if he could send items over.”
Hanna sums up the key challenge by saying, “Our work had no place to live. We needed a place where we could just say, ‘Go here and this is where you will find everything you need.’”
The Solution to Documents Not Being Organized and Accessible
Established in 1970, the College of Charleston Foundation “accepts, manages, invests, and distributes private philanthropic support needed to fund the programs, projects, scholarships, equipment, and buildings that help the College of Charleston achieve its strategic plan.” The Foundation Board is currently comprised of 32 members and 9 non-voting ex-officio members. Hanna is employed by the College of Charleston to support Executive Director of the Foundation, Chris Tobin, and also to serve as the College’s liaison to the Foundation Board.
When Hanna started working with the College in 2019, the Foundation Board had already brought in OnBoard to serve as a platform where they could share meeting information and relevant documents. She contacted her OnBoard Customer Success Manager, Dean Floyd, and worked with him to increase board member adoption of the platform.
Hanna and Dean focused immediately on organizing all board materials and making them easy to access. She started using OnBoard’s Resource Folder to store board materials such as meeting minutes, slide decks, and financial reports and immediately noticed an increase in the board’s use of the platform. Board members were increasingly going to OnBoard to find the information they needed instead of having to call or email for documents to be sent directly to them.
“The thing that was most important to us was that every board member had to have instant access to all of our resources,” Hanna recalls. “With OnBoard being so user-friendly, the platform helped us get organized.”
“The thing that was most important to us was that every board member had to have instant access to all of our resources. With OnBoard being so user-friendly, the platform helped us get organized.”
The Solution to COVID-19 Forcing a Switch to Virtual Meetings
Like most other organizations, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the board to switch to virtual meetings practically overnight. Some board members were comfortable with video conferencing apps such as Zoom, but other board members readily admitted they were more comfortable meeting in person. But Hanna was confident OnBoard’s native integration with Zoom would bridge the gap and allay any board member concerns because of the platform’s ease of use.
Starting with an abbreviated version of what is normally a two-day quarterly board meeting, Hanna started using OnBoard’s native Zoom integration to organize the virtual meetings.
“I had to do the Zoom integration for all of our meetings, even though it wasn’t ideal for the culture in our board; we’re a very ‘in-person’ kind of group,” Hanna says. “But just being able to set up the Zoom meetings in one place, not having to switch back and forth between apps, have it all plugged into a calendar appointment that our board members can access with the click of a button is all just incredible.”
“Just being able to set up the Zoom meetings in one place, not having to switch back and forth between apps, have it all plugged into a calendar appointment that our board members can access with the click of a button is all just incredible.”
With so much tradition and history at the College of Charleston – founders include multiple signers of the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution, and notable alumni include three future state governors, one of the key architects of FDR’s New Deal, the first Native American to appear before the U.S. Supreme Court, and the designer of the Washington Monument – the Foundation has a proud tradition to uphold.
Hanna has used OnBoard to help the College of Charleston build on that tradition and move forward in its mission by:
- Streamlining the process of communicating meeting information and sharing associated documents
- Using OnBoard’s Resource Folder feature to organize and archive important documents
- Making it easy to switch from physical, in-person events to virtual meetings using OnBoard’s native Zoom integration
Hanna credits her OnBoard Customer Success Manager for playing a key role in the Foundation’s digital transformation.
“I really want to stress that having a designated representative who I know I can email, ask a random question, jump on a call with, walk through anything, and strategize with is one of the most valuable parts of OnBoard,” Hanna says. “I can talk to Dean and say, ‘What’s the best way to do this?’ And we figure it out.”
Having all of the board’s resources easy to access enables board members to find the information they need quickly and engage more fully in the board meetings. But it also had one additional benefit: Hanna could go on maternity leave with confidence, knowing that board members could access information they needed.
“I like that I could say to the board members ‘You can find it all in OnBoard. OnBoard’s got it.’”
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