A couple weeks ago I posted about the mistake of updating websites only when you print a newsletter.

There’s another common pattern for updating sites I’ve seen a lot of over the years: updating the day before the board meeting.

The problem here is that the site isn’t being used to start a conversation with people you’re trying to reach. It’s just another thing on a checklist of all the things board members might ask about.

Typically the pattern occurs when there’s a part-time, overworked, underpaid director trying to juggle way too many tasks that were assigned at the last board meeting. In organizations that small, many of those tasks probably could be done, truth be told, by board members, possibly including some website updates.

Behind the most effective Executive Directors I’ve experienced, there has been an active, proactive Board of Directors. On the other hand, a board of lame-duck directors that loads up its part-time Executive Director with a hundred things to do on a checklist between meetings is asking for mediocrity, and not just on their website. Especially in small organizations where the Executive Director’s paycheck is more of an honorarium than a wage, everyone is more or less a volunteer. Board member hands need to be on deck, not just at a bi-monthly meeting.

It’s always possible that a small organization’s Executive Director isn’t the world’s most effective person, but my question to organizations with the “update before the meeting” pattern is: Where is the dead wood on your Board of Directors?