I was recently drawn into a lengthy discussion on quorums and boards.
Set the quorum requirement too high and a drop in attendance may make it difficult to conduct business. Make it too low and you may find a minority deciding major matters. Permit proxy voting and you can inadvertently discourage attendance at board meetings.
Two items I've found to be helpful over the years:
- Make the board meetings meaningful. If there is no important business to decide, then the meeting should not be held. Members need to know that their presence is needed.
- If you do encounter quorum problems, make a practice of holding an executive committee meeting as soon as the general board meeting concludes. [Word the agenda in that manner so you aren't tied to starting at a specific time.] The executive committee serves as a safety net and permits you to handle important business if the board failed to have a quorum,.