Efficient boards send out a board package a week or more before each board meeting. The package includes an agenda for the upcoming meeting, the minutes from the past meeting and any other documents that a board member needs to review prior to the meeting. If there is confidential information then the board package is distributed in a confidential manner, such as having the board members log in to a secure part of the organizations website. If the board package is being mailed or couriered, then it is important to mark the mail as confidential to be opened by the addressee only.
I often recommend that the board review one policy each meeting – so the policy to be reviewed would also be included in this board package. Board members would be expected to have reviewed the package prior to the meeting and to have considered the contents. The meeting should proceed in a more efficient manner if the board package is carefully prepared and the board members have reviewed the contents.