Global boards have been actively digitizing corporate governance. Over 64% of U.S. boards explore new digital tools like board portals. But what’s a board portal? Do you need one?

Board portals provide unmatched capabilities and a significant competitive edge to directors who use them. This guide deeply explores the benefits, use cases, and selection specifics of board management software

What is a board portal?

A board portal solution is a secure platform for board directors and executives that simplifies corporate governance processes.

A board portal allows users to access, store, and collaborate on board documents. Key online board portal features are the following:

  • Videoconferencing 
  • Digital agendas and meeting minutes
  • Board packs
  • Activity tracking
  • Online voting and electronic signature

A secure board portal has the following benefits for directors and executives:

  • Less administrative burden. Users can compile and distribute board materials digitally, cutting out time-consuming paperwork. Automation makes it easy to update tasks, log activity, count votes, and write meeting minutes.
  • Remote board processes. Users can access board information and run virtual board meetings anywhere, anytime.
  • Cost savings. Task automation, time savings, and remote meetings make board operations cheaper. For instance, boards can save up to $250,000 annually on travel.

What can you do with a board member portal?

Board directors

Before the meetingDuring the meeting
After the meeting
Approve meeting agendas
Initiate pre-meeting discussions
Analyze the feedback from previous meetings
Review previous meeting minutes
Review reports from executives and committees
Follow real-time digital agendas
Vote on motions and resolutions
ake digital notes and annotate documents
View digital reports
Track board engagement
Access electronic board materials
Review meeting minutes
Complete follow-up action items
Participate in post-meeting discussions
Provide feedback to secretaries and executives

Board secretaries

Before the meetingDuring the meetingAfter the meeting
Craft meeting agendas
Coordinate meetings with executives
Arrange meetings and manage meeting attendance
Upload and distribute board materials
Manage content access permissions
Track meeting progress
Track attendance and establish a quorum
Write digital meeting minutes directly in agendas
Assign action items
Count electronic voting results
Finalize and distribute board meeting minutes
Track the progress of action items
Compile and distribute board materials
Schedule follow-up meetings and send notifications


Before the meetingDuring the meetingAfter the meeting
Collaborate with board secretaries
Download reports and presentations
Review directors’ feedback
View agendas of upcoming meetings
Manage directors’ feedback
Read from digital reports
Present charts and infographics
Vote on business items electronically
Monitor decisions and follow digital agendas
Receive tasks and review follow-up actions
Update board directors on project progress
Maintain follow-up discussions
Analyze your performance

Key online board portal features

Functionality & usability & security

Agenda builder

Create digital meeting agendas using drag-and-drop builders and autofill features. See quorum and total meeting duration. Track tasks, motions, action items, time stamps, participants, board books, meeting goals, and relevant attachments.

Real-time note taking

Leave comments under meeting minutes, attachments, and board packs. Introduce changes and update relevant documents. All participants will receive automatic notifications.

Votes and motions

Cast and automatically record electronic votes on board meeting motions. Start voting sessions, edit votes, and automatically see results with intuitive visual trackers. Some board portals allow votes on behalf of other members. Voting results are automatically recorded in meeting minutes.

Meeting minutes workflows

Record key decisions, follow-up items, motions, votes, attendance, and tasks. Track meeting time and add notes to meeting minutes using form builders. Meeting minutes automatically reflect agenda items. Board members can approve, share, and export meeting minutes in preferable file formats.

Engagement dashboards

See visual analytics of user activity, such as board pack reading progress, actions completed, and meeting preparations. Access actionable insights from activity dashboards and send reminders.

Task management

Assign tasks before, during, and after meetings. Manage task cards with assignees, attachments, goals, and due dates. Track lead time while setting deadlines for convenient progress tracking and meeting preparations.

Data storage

Collect all board materials in one secure repository. Upload, download, and access unlimited documents and folders. Board portals automatically convert files to PDF for convenient viewing in the app while allowing users to download original formats.

Personal dashboards

Access personal dashboards to manage meetings and receive reminders. Board Complete tasks, create meetings, and receive project updates.

Annotations & comments

Add notes and comments in board books. Highlight sections and leave public notes in respective documents. Annotations are private by default for security purposes. Users can make them public.


Add legally binding electronic signatures to documents. Sign documents via board books or by downloading files on your computer and re-uploading them to the board portal. Save and reuse signatures as needed.

Meeting RSVP

Track meeting responses (RSVP) from meeting menus. This feature helps participants confirm their attendance and establish a quorum. Users have several options, which are automatically recorded in action logs.

Board books

Compile all meeting materials in board books in a few clicks. Add files and meeting minutes to the agenda, and the respective board book will be automatically compiled. Once published, the board book (a collection of all meeting materials) will be available to all meeting participants.

Video conferencing

Enjoy the functionality of board portals coupled with Zoom and Microsoft Teams capabilities to run remote meetings and save overhead costs.

Global search
Cross-platform compatibility

Manage meetings on iOS and Android devices. Board software providers offer respective mobile applications and (or) optimize cloud workspaces for mobile screens. Download mobile applications or access your workspace from your browser.

Two-factor authentication

Enable multi-factor authentication to protect your workflows. Most board portals allow you to enable the second factor via Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, and textual recovery codes. You can enable 2FA on your account and enforce 2FA on the entire workspace.

Security compliance

Have peace of mind with fully secure and compliant data centers. Board portals are hosted on data centers certified by SOC 1, SOC 2, SOC 3, ISO 27001, ISO 27017, ISO 27018, FedRAMP, FISMA, and other security standards.

AES data encryption

All data is encrypted at rest and in transit with advanced 256-bit encryption keys, the strongest encryption protocol on the market. Your internet connection is fully protected against cyber threats.

Role-based access

Assign collaborative roles with predefined access permissions. Control which members have full or limited access to files, folders, user management, and workspace configurations.

Top board portal benefits

A board of directors portal offers several benefits to directors and executives:

Better compliance

Corporate boards are subject to numerous regulations, including but not limited to securities laws, antitrust laws, and listing standards. Here is how a robust board portal help directors maintain compliance:

  • Transparent meetings. Digital workflows help boards comply with open meeting laws. They can keep video records, agendas, and meeting minutes for as long as legally required.
  • Data security. Digital protection of board portals helps directors comply with GDPR and CCPA regulations while dealing with sensitive information.
  • Simple record keeping. Board reporting software helps directors document corporate decisions and comply with financial reporting regulations. It substantially simplifies corporate disclosures in M&A deals, IPOs, divestments, and other business transactions.

Better security

The cybersecurity ruling by the SEC requires boards to disclose cybersecurity events, cybersecurity risks, and boards’ responsibilities on risk management. A digital board portal improves cybersecurity in the board meeting life cycle and helps directors meet respective regulations with the following features:

  • Robust data protection. Security features of board portals reduce data breach risks and improve the board’s cybersecurity posture. Such software makes cybersecurity management a part of business strategy and helps directors meet strict regulations.
  • Structured reporting. Activity logs and dashboards allow directors to record required metrics, like the frequency of cybersecurity meetings, committee responsibilities, meeting decisions, or cybersecurity information tools.

Better efficiency

Board efficiency requires improvement. The latest C-suite survey has revealed that over 70% of executives mention poor board performance. Here is how a directors portal improves board meeting processes based on Harvard metrics:

  • Directors receive timely info. Board members have 24/7 access to valuable reports and insights. They can carefully prepare for meetings in advance.
  • Meetings are determined in advance. Directors can easily provide input to agendas and discuss meeting schedules. It’s easy to improve attendance when everyone is aligned on the purpose, date, time, and location several weeks in advance.
  • Executive sessions are always documented. It’s easy to keep records in a centralized repository and accurately document decisions with digital meeting minutes.
  • Performance is easy to evaluate. Activity dashboards with attendance and participation metrics provide valuable insights into boardroom dynamics. Board portals make it easy to identify performance gaps and develop corrective actions.

Challenges and considerations

Human error challenges

Human error, like weak passwords and not using 2FA, accounts for 95% of all data breaches. That is why it’s crucial to minimize human error while using a board meeting portal.


  • Communicate with chief security officers (CISOs) more frequently and establish a dedicated cybersecurity committee with at least one cybersecurity expert.
  • Attend security training sessions with your board portal vendor.
  • Work with dedicated board portal managers to configure security settings in your workspace and use these configurations as a blueprint.

Compatibility challenges

Board management software may not be compatible with old operating systems. Here are a few considerations:

  • Double-check operating system, browser, and device compatibility requirements for an electronic board portal of your choice. 
  • Consider cloud board portals. They have very friendly system requirements.

Adoption challenges

Many boards need to improve their technology knowledge. For instance, only one in ten board directors in the financial sector has strong tech expertise. That may create some friction with adopting a board portal platform. Here are a few considerations to improve user experience and maximize board efficiency:

  • Participate in training sessions with dedicated board portal managers (offered by a board portal provider). Consider that board software has a minimal learning curve. You will learn quickly.
  • Consider free trials before migrating your workflows. It will help you reduce the anxiety of using new software.
  • Prepare files and folders and decide which directors will have administrative and collaborative roles in advance. 

How to find the best board portal providers?

There are over 100 board meeting software solutions on the market. Too many options can easily cause choice paralysis. We have compiled several steps and self-assessment questions to help you choose the best enterprise board portal:

  1. Calibrate your needs
  2. Compare board software features
  3. Define your budget
  4. Narrow your search
  5. Test and try board portals

Calibrate your needs

You need to understand the goals you want to achieve with board software and the activities you will use it for. Ask yourself the following questions: and discuss your needs and priorities:

  1. How many users will I have? 
  2. How often will we meet? 
  3. How much information will we store in the board portal?
  4. Do we have industry-specific compliance requirements like HIPAA or FedRAMP?
  5. Do we have security requirements like 2FA, end-to-end encryption, or single sign-on (SSO)?
  6. Will we integrate our board portal into existing systems, like calendars, Google Docs, and FTP solutions?

Action steps:

  • Discuss your needs and priorities.
  • Note your requirements.

Compare board software features

Understand which features you need for board governance. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What features do we need? Live votes, digital calendars, agendas, meeting minutes, board packs?
  2. Do we need mobile access? 
  3. What integrations do we need?
  4. What features can we do without?

Action steps:

  1. Browse the web and see which features board portal vendors typically offer.
  2. Make a list of must-have board portal features.

Define your budget

Estimate how much you can spend on board portals. Consider the following questions:

  1. What is our annual budget for board portals?
  2. Can we pay for extra features, and how much can we spend?
  3. Can we spend extra money on training?

Action steps:

  1. Compare pricing options of board portals.
  2. Consider software requirements and market prices to estimate your budget.

Narrow your search

Focus on market leaders. Chances are these board portals offer a good price-quality ratio. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do these board portals have the features we need?
  2. Which one suits our needs better?
  3. Which one is cheaper?
  4. Will we pay for the provider’s reputation and peace of mind?
  5. Which one provides training? Is it free and unlimited?

Action steps:

  1. Contact a board software provider, discuss your requirements, and make notes.
  2. Compare the best board portal vendors on our Main Page. It has all the information you need about the 10 board of director portals, such as free trials, features, pricing, and ratings.

Test and try board portals

Contact board software vendors and set up free trials. Test a corporate board portal first-hand, deeply understand its capabilities, and see whether it matches your requirements. Consider the following self-assessment questions:

  1. What system requirements does this board portal have?
  2. Does this board portal have the necessary features?
  3. Does it have an intuitive interface?
  4. How scalable is it? Can you easily add more users and storage capacity?
  5. What security features does it have to protect sensitive data?
  6. What integrations does it have?
  7. Can its customization features reflect your business identity?
  8. How helpful is customer support?
  9. Does it have a help center with detailed troubleshooting articles and user guides?
  10. Does it function smoothly on mobile devices?

Action steps:

  1. Let a few members of your executive leadership team test and try the board portal.
  2. Ask for feedback and make notes.

What to ask your board portal vendor?


  1. Does your board portal support e-signature and online votes?
  2. Do you support video conferencing integrations?
  3. Does your board portal sync file versions and enable version control?
  4. Does your board portal support offline access?
  5. Does your board portal have an in-app messenger?


  1. Do you guarantee 99% uptime?
  2. What is your uptime history?
  3. Where do you place your data centers?
  4. How often do you conduct maintenance, and how does it impact board portal accessibility?
  5. What are user and data storage limits?

Data ownership and use

  1. What are data ownership and use terms? 
  2. How does the board portal collect data?
  3. What rights does the board portal have to the stored data?
  4. Can we migrate data if we switch to a new board portal?

Security and compliance

  1. What security features do you have?
  2. Do you regularly scan your platform for malware?
  3. What security compliance certificates do you have?
  4. Did you do penetration testing?
  5. What is your incident response plan?

User experience

  1. Can we access the board portal via desktop and mobile browsers?
  2. Is user experience and functionality consistent across different browsers and devices?
  3. Do you have mobile applications?
  4. How does your board portal integrate with the systems we currently use?
  5. How frequently do you update mobile and desktop applications? How often do you update your portal’s design?

Customer support

  1. What are your customer support hours?
  2. What are support channels (email, live chat, phone)?
  3. How many languages does your support speak?
  4. Do you offer one-on-one training? How much does it cost?
  5. Do you have help centers with user manuals?

Onboarding and implementation

  1. Do you offer onboarding support? Is it free?
  2. How long does it take to set up a board portal?
  3. Do we need special plug-ins and apps to configure the board portal?


  1. What pricing plans do you have?
  2. Do you have a free trial? How long is it?
  3. Will we access the full or limited version during the free trial?
  4. What commitments do we have after the free trial?
  5. What are the costs for extra storage and users?

Implementation and integration tips

Setting up a board portal may take as little as 15-20 minutes. You must be an administrator to set up a board portal and add board administrators, other board members, secretaries, and guests. Check the following steps to set up a board portal:

  1. Create an account
  2. Add groups
  3. Add users
  4. Add two-factor authentication
  5. Connect to Zoom and Microsoft Teams

Create an account

Contact sales and express your intent to test a free trial or purchase a subscription. You will typically receive email instructions. Afterward, follow these steps:

  1. Enter your name, email, and phone number. 
  2. Create a strong password.
  3. Log into the board portal.
  4. Update your profile information.

Add user groups

Groups consist of users with distinctive board responsibilities. You can create functional groups, like committees. Take the following steps to add groups:

  1. Go to groups (or a similar section) in your board portal.
  2. Press Add Groups.
  3. Name groups.
  4. Press Confirm.

Add users

Board admins can add users with predefined collaborative roles (admins, company secretaries, members, guests):

  1. Go to the groups/users tab (or a similar section).
  2. Press Add User.
  3. Fill out invitation forms.
  4. Select users’ roles for each group.
  5. Press Confirm

Add two-factor authentication

You can add two-factor authentication to your account or entire workspace:

  1. Install Google Authenticator on your device.
  2. Go to profile settings in your board portal.
  3. Locate security → two-factor authentication.
  4. Scan the QR code in your authenticator app.
  5. Enter a one-time confirmation code.
  6. Contact customer support to enable two-factor authentication in the entire workspace.

Connect Zoom

Board portals may offer various integrations. Let’s describe general steps with the most popular one — Zoom:

  1. Go to Create a Meeting (or a similar section).
  2. Locate video conferencing settings.
  3. Locate Connect Zoom.
  4. Log into your Zoom account.
  5. Confirm connection with the board portal.

Top 5 board portal use cases’s latest analysis of the best board management software providers of 2024 comprised over 760 reviews from different organizations. We analyzed case studies for the following categories:

For corporations (commercial)

Board portals enable paperless online board meetings for crown corporations, public, and private companies. As much as 68% of the top board portal solutions have clients among commercial businesses in consumer goods, retail, utilities, and other industries. 

  • iDeals Board received the highest rating (5 stars and 9.9 likelihood to recommend).
  • Huddle received the lowest rating (4.4 stars and 8.2 likelihood to recommend).

The top 5 providers for commercial organizations are the following.

For health services

Healthcare organizations use board portals to collect, organize, and prioritize data at board and committee meetings. found that 43% of the top board portals serve hospital boards

  • iDeals received the highest rating (4.9 stars and 9.4 likelihood to recommend).
  • Boardable received the lowest rating (4.2 stars and 8.2 likelihood to recommend).

The top 5 board portals for healthcare organizations are the following.

For government

Government entities use board portals to exchange board books, increase accountability of governors, plan committee meetings, and enable secure digital communications.

As much as 37% of the top board management solutions have clients among government entities.

  • iDeals received the highest rating (4.9 stars and 9.8 likelihood to recommend).
  • Govenda received the lowest rating (4.5 stars and 8.5 likelihood to recommend.)

The 5 best board portal software providers for government organizations are the following.

For financial services

Financial organizations use board meeting agenda software to facilitate remote and hybrid meetings and ensure secure file access. We have found that 56% of the top board portals have clients among financial organizations.

  • iDeals received the highest rating (5 stars and 9.9 likelihood to recommend).
  • BoardPaq received the lowest rating (4 stars and 4.72 likelihood to recommend).

The top 5 board software providers for financial organizations are the following.

For nonprofits

A nonprofit board portal helps nonprofit directors manage meetings and improve the distribution of meeting papers. They save staff time and cut expenses for printing meeting materials. Here are some of the nonprofit organizations that use board portals daily:

  • The Wolfson Foundation
  • World Habitat
  • Commonweal Housing found that 81% of board portals serve nonprofits, including but not limited to charities, credit unions, and social welfare organizations.

  • iDeals received the highest rating (5 stars and 9.5 likelihood to recommend).
  • Boardvantage received the lowest rating (4.4 stars and 7.8 likelihood to recommend).

The top 5 providers for nonprofit organizations are the following.

Check the five reasons to use board portal software for credit unions.

Who uses board portals the most?

Board portals are the most popular among nonprofit organizations (81% of board portals) and commercial (68% of board portals). Government agencies are the rarest board software users (37% of board portals).

Case studies:

“The iDeas team met all of our requirements and needs which helped us to be very efficient. Their support is extraordinary and their system provides us with all necessary tools to effectively follow and monitor processes.”

Dejan Jelisavac, Financial Advisor at KF Finance.

“Simple and concise way to organize the board books for our directors. Great digital sign feature, helping to reach all directors no matter their location. Good use of the platform for sharing other content such as reports, books, news, etc.“

Linette Ramirez, Paralegal at Brown & Brown Insurance, says about Diligent.

“Boardable enables us to be very efficient and organized in our communications to our board members. They’re able to access our documents in real time and we no longer have to rely on paper folders or agendas.”

Katie Evans, Director of Annual Giving & Alumni Engagement at Columbus State University.

How much does a board portal cost?

Most board portals offer per-user subscriptions and fixed monthly plans. You can choose a starting package and scale to other plans once your organization grows and you are comfortable with that board portal.

Pricing ranges vary. Some vendors charge as little as ~$10 per user per month. Check our board portal pricing page to learn more about the cost structures of board portals, hidden fees, and direct pricing comparisons of top board portals.

The history of board portals

Board portal solutions emerged as an idea for more convenient digital communications in boards that began transitioning from file cabinets to digital documents. Today’s board portal market is estimated at $3.3 billion and is expected to reach $6.44 billion by 2031. The following trends currently shape the board portal/board software developments:

  • Cloud-based technology. On-premise solutions may soon disappear from the market. Cloud software as a service (SaaS) solutions will replace them.
  • AI advancements. Today’s tech market is experiencing an AI revolution. More board portal vendors add AI capabilities for analytics, automation, and customer service.
  • Cybersecurity. There is a continuous arms race between cybersecurity services and cybercriminals. Security features of board software will evolve to meet market demands and face new threats.

Wrapping up the discussion on board portals

  • An online board of directors portal offers features that simplify administrative tasks for board directors, secretaries, and executives. Board portals streamline decision-making, improve compliance, and ensure data security.
  • Board portals significantly reduce overhead costs, allowing directors to manage all board materials digitally and conduct remote or hybrid meetings.
  • It’s advisable to review your requirements, needs, and expectations toward board software before purchasing software subscriptions. Choose the board management portal based on your needs and free trial experiences.


What is board portal software?

A board portal is an online cloud workspace for board directors and executives. It allows users to compile digital agendas, automatically record meeting minutes, vote on motions, and conduct paperless board meetings.

How much does a board portal cost?

Board meeting management software usually costs between $12 and $40 per user per month. Some board portals offer fixed monthly subscriptions. You can contact customer representatives to discuss pricing plans.

What are the advantages of a board portal?

A digital board meeting portal has the following advantages: secure document sharing, completely paperless meetings, ability to conduct meetings anywhere anytime, automatic meeting minutes and board packs, personal task dashboards, digital agendas with Zoom support

Discover everything you need to know about board portals, including how they work, their benefits, and how they can transform the way you manage your board meetings.
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