Davis County Food Bank Virtual Board Meeting Guide

By Jon Huggett & Mark Zitter

Published 2021-2-25

To accompany Davis County Food Bank Case Study

Meeting Facilitator (Board Chair): Arnold BakerGreeter: Sarah Jenson
Chatbox Monitor: Jose Alverez
Zoom Lead and Technical Host: Tonda Brown

High Level Agenda:
11:30am:    Pre-meeting social breakout groups
12:00 pm: Welcome, Zoom Housekeeping
12:05: pm Chat box questions
12:10 pm: Responses to prompt
12:20 pm: ED Report and discussion of key issues
12:45 pm: CFO Report
12:55 pm: Breakout room discussions (including transition time)
1:15 pm:   Reconvene for Breakout reports and discussion/decision
1:40 pm:  Development Report
1:50 pm:  Impact videos
1:55 pm:  Evaluation, suggestions, announcements
2:00 pm:  Regular meeting adjourns; First post-meeting social breakout
2:15 pm:  Second post-meeting social breakout
2:30 pm:  Meeting concludes


Detailed Agenda:

Before meeting:
All key participants log on 15 minutes in advance to confirm connections, check background lighting and sound, etc.
Confirm meeting settings (e.g.: ensure Waiting Room is set up, eliminate “ping” as people enter and leave, etc.)
Host creates co-hosts and confirm how to dial in via phone in case internet drops or bandwidth can’t sustain both video and audio
Arnold (and others at their option) has the front of the DCFB warehouse as a Virtual background

11:30 am: Pre-meeting social breakout groups
Sarah checks to ensure that all in waiting room are expected participants and admits them as they arrive. As soon as four have joined, Tonda places them into a breakout room. Same for each subsequent group of four, including Jose and the ED in the social groupings. Tonda broadcasts the prompts into each room: “Please share a) Why you chose to join the DCFB Board and b) What’s one thing that might surprise the others about you?” Anyone who logs in after 11:50 will stay in the main room and chat with Arnold and Sarah while waiting for the meeting to begin.

11:59 pm: Tonda brings everyone back from the breakout rooms.

12:00 pm: Arnold opens the meeting with his welcome.

  • Arnold lets everyone know that they will be muted and that they should remember to unmute when they want to make a verbal comment. Tonda mutes participants.
  • Arnold announces that the meeting is being recorded. Tonda starts the recording.
  • Tonda shares on her screen the Zoom instruction slide.

  • Arnold points out the key items:
    • Please keep your video on if possible, to maximize personal connection. If you need to take a virtual break for any reason you can stop your video by clicking on the camera icon on the lower left, and make sure that you are on mute.
    • You can mute and unmute yourself using the microphone icon on the lower left
    • Use the Gallery View to see everyone at once and the Speaker View if you prefer when listening to a particular presenter.
    • Please make sure your name (first and last) shows up by your image. If it doesn’t, you can make the change by hovering your cursor over your image, clicking on the three dots, and using the Rename command.
    • If you need Zoom help, please chat directly with Tonda in the Chat, or email/text her at tondabrown93@gmail.com or 819-224-3871.
  • Arnold asks participants to open the Participants and Chat panels.
    • By your name in the Participants panel you can raise your hand and express reactions (applause, thumbs up, etc.)

12:05 pm: Arnold encourages participants to use the Chat box throughout the meeting.

  • Let’s practice by putting in the Chat:
    • Where are you right now?
    • What is your biggest takeaway from the Board Packet? (allow a minute for response)
  • Let’s practice using the private Chat function. Please sent a private chat to someone on the Board you don’t know well. It can be a simple ‘Hello’ or something more creative.

12:10 pm: Responses to prompt sent with Board Packet

  • Jose puts in Chat a list of participants in the order that Arnold will call on them. Random is OK but start with Arlo, who won’t mind going first and likely will set a good tone for the rest.
  • Arnold notes that DCFB is of course a food bank, restates the prompt (“What is one way in your life that you feed or nourish others?”), and reminds members that they have only one sentence for their response. He then calls on Arlo, followed by the other directors and staff members present. Arnold goes last.
  • Jose puts the prompt into the Chat.
  • If the Chat box is active and comments begin to move the ordered list off the screen Jose will reprint the remaining names in the Chat.

12:20 pm: Executive Director Report

  • Tonda Spotlights Jeannie Grisholm
  • Jeannie recaps the six issues she described in her Board Report (5-7 minutes)
  • Arnold moderates Q&A and discussion.
  • During this time Tonda assigns breakout rooms, each with a designated moderator. Moderators include Jeannie, Sarah, Jose, Kai, and Elizabeth

12:43 pm: Arnold asks Tonda to launch poll, reminding all that their responses are anonymous:
“What do you think is the biggest challenge we’re facing right now?”
1) Keeping workers and volunteers safe during the pandemic
2) Lack of volunteers from corporations
3) New accounting system
4) Board diversity
5) Expanding DCFB’s distribution reach
6) Decline in individual contributions
7) Other (put in Chat)

12:44 pm: Arnold reviews results of poll

12:45 pm: CFO Report

  • Tonda Spotlights Kai Morito
  • Kai recaps the financial situation as described in his Board Report (2 minutes)
  • Arnold asks Finance Committee Chair Rebecca Gold for comment
  • Tonda Spotlights Rebecca Gold
  • Arnold opens the floor for questions while Jose monitors raised hands and the Chat box

12:53 pm: Arnold asks Tonda to launch poll, reminding all that their responses are anonymous:
“How comfortable are you with our financial situation?”
1=Very Comfortable
2=Somewhat Comfortable
3=Neutral/Not Sure
4=Somewhat Uncomfortable
5=Very Uncomfortable

12:54 pm: Arnold reviews poll results and invites anyone who is uncomfortable with DCFB’s financial situation to contact Rebecca or him after the meeting if they wish to discuss it further.

12:55 pm: Sarah announces breakout rooms and the question

  • We’ll have about 15 minutes to discuss this issue in breakouts. Each room will have four or five directors plus a moderator.
  • The moderator will make sure that everyone has a chance to voice their opinion. That means you’ll need to limit your comments to 2-3 minutes each.
  • The question to address is: “Should DCFB distribute food within the Riverview District for the next 12 months, funding it either by taking $90,000 from our financial reserves or reducing distribution elsewhere?”
  • After about 15 minutes we’ll bring everyone back to the main room for a general discussion leading to our decision on the issue.
  • It will take a few seconds for you to move to the breakout room and it may look briefly like you’ve left the meeting, but you will be redirected to a breakout group.
  • Jose puts the prompt into the Chat as Sarah states it.
  • Tonda activates the breakout rooms and rebroadcasts the question into the rooms.

12:56 pm: Breakout Discussions

  • Facilitators greet everyone as they enter the breakout room, remind them to unmute, and restate the question and the time frame
  • Facilitators call on one director at a time, using the timer on their phone to chime after 2-1/2 minutes so that there will be sufficient time for everyone to speak.
  • Any leftover time can be used for further discussion.
  • Facilitators prepare their 1-2 sentence summaries for the larger group.

1:14 pm: Tonda notifies everyone that they will be returned to the main room within 60 seconds.

1:15 pm: Reconvene for Breakout reports and discussion/decision

  • Tonda re-mutes all participants; Arnold unmutes himself
  • Arnold asks facilitators to put 1-2 sentences in the Chat summarizing their group’s discussion. These may or may not reflect consensus, depending on the group’s results.
  • Arnold comments on the comments in the Chat, noting areas of agreement and divergence.
  • Arnold opens the floor for discussion, encouraging members to use the Raise Hand function and/or the Chat – the latter either to indicate a desire to be called upon or simply to make a written comment.
  • Jose tracks raised hands and Chat box indications and writes a running list of directors for Arnold to recognize as the discussion ensues. Jose sends Arnold private Chats as needed, for example when a director seems eager to respond to a current comment rather than waiting her turn by which time the discussion has moved on.
  • Arnold makes a point to call on directors who a) may have particular expertise or an important perspective on the issue, b) are new to the board or represent a diverse constituency, or c) have said little during the meeting.
  • Arnold attempts to bring the group to consensus on one of the three possible action steps most actively considered:
    • Fund expanded distribution for 12 months by taking $90,000 out of reserves
    • Fund expanded distribution for 12 months by reducing distribution elsewhere
    • Do not expand distribution

1:36 pm: Arnold asks for a visual vote with directors using the raise hand feature. Jose tallies the votes.

  • Those in favoring of funding expanded distribution for 12 months by taking $90,000 out of reserves
  • Those in favoring of funding expanded distribution for 12 months by reallocation
  • Those opposed to expanding distribution

1:38 pm: Arnold asks Tonda to launch poll, reminding all that their responses are anonymous:
“How supportive are you of the decision we’ve made?”
1=Very Supportive
2=Somewhat Supportive
3=Neutral/Not Sure
4=Somewhat Opposed
5=Very Opposed

1:39 pm: Arnold reviews poll results and invites anyone unhappy with the decision to contact him after the meeting if they wish to discuss it further.

1:40 pm: Development Report

  • Tonda Spotlights Elizabeth O’Connor
  • Elizabeth recaps the two main challenges described in her Board Report: declining individual contributions and a dearth of contacts at local corporate foundations (2 minutes)
  • Elizabeth states the need for introductions to executives at local corporations and their foundations and asks directors to put their suggestions in the Chat box. She waits until the first name is submitted, thanks the director who provided it, and asks for additional names.
  • Arnold asks Development Committee Chair Vincent Wang for comment
  • Tonda Spotlights Vincent Wang
  • Arnold opens the floor for questions or other comments while Jose monitors raised hands and the Chat box

1:50 pm: Impact videos

  • Arnold thanks everyone for their commitment to DCFB’s mission of feeding those with hunger and food insecurity. He mentions that the discussions at Board meetings may feel far removed from the problems directors are trying to solve and from the impact they are making, so the team wanted to provide a reminder of why this work is so important.
  • Tonda shares her screen and the video of families thanking DCFB. (video runs 3:44)

1:55 pm: Arnold asks Tonda to launch poll, reminding all that their responses are anonymous:
“This meeting was successful.”
1=Strongly Agree
3=Neutral/Not Sure
5=Strongly Disagree

1:56 pm: Arnold reviews poll results and invites every director to make one suggestion in the Chat for how the next meeting could be better.

1:58 pm: Announcements

  • Arnold announces that there will be a virtual wine tasing session for the Board followed by unstructured social time on the 14th of next month at 5-6:30 pm. He encourages everyone to attend not only to learn about wine but more to help the Board members get to know one another better and stay connected.
  • Arnold announces that the staff will begin offering a weekly series of informal “office hours” at 4 pm every Friday that will alternate between the Executive Director and the heads of Finance, Development, and Operations. These should be a good way for Board members to dive deeper into critical issues facing the organization, to get to know key staff, and to learn along with other Board members.
  • Arnold reminds directors that although the formal portion of the meeting is ending, they are invited to stay in the Zoom room for up to 30 minutes of social time.
  • Arnold thanks Sarah, Jose, and Tonda, as well as Jeannine, Kai, and Elizabeth for their roles in the meeting, and all the directors for their participation and commitment to DCFB.

2:00 pm: Arnold adjourns the formal meeting

  • Tonda saves the Chat log and turns off the recording

2:00 pm: Post-meeting social breakout

  • Sarah announces that the remaining directors will be split into breakout rooms of five each for 15 minutes. Those who can stay for an additional 15 minutes will be sent into new breakout rooms to maximize exposure to different people if there are 8 or more people (including Arnold and Jeannie). Otherwise all will stay in the same room. These will be purely social breakouts with no leaders and no agenda. If anyone feels a need for a prompt to get started, an optional one is “What gives you the most joy in your life currently?”
  • Tonda uses Zoom’s Breakout Room feature to randomize directors into breakout rooms of 5 each. She quickly switches a few people around so that Arnold and Jeannie are in different rooms and then actives the breakout function.

2:14 pm: Tonda notifies everyone that they will be returned to the main room within 60 seconds

2:15 pm: Participants are returned to the main room. (Some are likely to leave at this point)

  • Tonda re-randomizes directors into breakout rooms of 4-5 each. (If only 7 or fewer remain then no need for breakout rooms.) Once again she separates Arnold and Jeannie if they are placed in the same room and activates the breakout function.
  • Second post-meeting social breakout begins.

2:29 pm: Tonda notifies everyone that breakouts will end in 60 seconds. They can simply exit the Zoom meeting, or they will be returned to the main room, at which point the entire meeting will end.

2:30 pm: Meeting concludes

  • Arthur remains in the main room in case anyone wants to return and keep talking
  • Once the last director leaves, Tonda closes the meeting