Tech4Good Meeting May 2017

Recap: Collaboration Tools for Nonprofit Boards and Remote Workers

A huge “Thank You” to our panelists, Robin Larkin, Mina Merkel and Susan Suarez, for all the insight in various aspects of board collaboration tools and how to take it all online.

Also, a big “Thank You” to Jim O’Reilley for preparing and moderating the meeting, and to Mark Benson, who organized our food, set-up the room and was our note keeper on the flipchart. Thank you also to Tricia Leite to help with food & drinks set-up.

Thank you for all the people coming and making sure this was a spirited discussion.



Our moderator, Jim O’Reilley started us off with his remarks:
“To get us all on the same page, I want to define the word ‘Tool’ as we will use it tonight.

A tool is a way to get to a required process more efficiently. It can be software, hardware, or a method that gets us to the process. Our three consultants with us tonight use different tools, and that is what we will try to focus on. Our scribe will list the tools we discuss so that we can summarize the meeting and send it using a tool known as email.

A focal point for our topic tonight is that no matter what tools you use, the board must buy into your process if you are to succeed.”

Notes from the meeting by Mark Benson

(click on the image to see a larger version)

Idealware: A Consumers Guide to Board Portals - CoverIdealware published a Consumer’s Guide to Board Portals in May 2016.

We handed out a two-page summary with the Comparison Chart last night. It’s available as Google Doc. Your comments are welcome! You can obtain the 60-page research report for free on Idealware’s website

21 Free or Low/Cost Collaboration Tools for Remote Teams


File sharing

Online conferencing

Project Management/Task Collaboration

Surveys/ Voting

Electronic Signatures

Birgit Pauli-Haack & Jim O’Reilley discussed how you can implement and organize board collaboration with Google Drive in podcast episode #18 of What’s New in NPTech. Have a listen! 

Our Panelist of Consultants

Robin Larkin

Robin Larkin joined Performance Management Associates in 1997 in Minneapolis, and since January 2012, Robin has been in our Southwest Florida location.  Prior to her joining PMA, she performed corporate development responsibilities for the Jefferson Center, Minneapolis, and continued in this role while living in Toronto, Ontario, from 1992-1995.
Connect with Robin on LinkedIn or via her website

Mina-MerkelMina Merkel

An internationally experienced strategist and leader of both large and small cultural and change initiatives resulting in multi-million dollar savings and growth. Extensive background creating and executing professional development events and training, strategic plans, mobilizing stakeholders and developing measures and countermeasures consulting with Boards of Directors and global teams in varied cultures. Proven skills as a diagnostician, ability to organize large projects while dealing with ambiguities in a diffused power structure. Experienced executive coach able to guide and mentor top leaders.

Susan Suarez

Susan L. Suarez, President of Suarez & Associates, knows the local philanthropic community and also brings a perspective from experience working with a wide variety of organizations nationally.

Susan has nearly 30 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, including senior development and executive director roles with the American Red Cross, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the Community Foundation of Collier County, and Eden Autism Services of Florida.  As a consultant since 2003, she has helped dozens of nonprofit organizations define their strategy, improve their fundraising results, and succeed in achieving their mission.

Thank you to our generous event sponsors!

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