As a consultant to both for-profit and non-profit organizations, I am frequently asked about Board Meetings and, specifically, how to take minutes at these meetings for inclusion in the corporation’s records.
In order to provide a solid foundation for an answer to this question, please consider the following:
The primary purpose of keeping board meeting minutes is to create an official record of the decisions that occur during a meeting. It is a good practice to write the minutes as if they were being published on the front page of the local newspaper. For the most part, minutes should focus on recording decisions. Therefore, lengthy discussions can be noted as: “discussion followed.” Good minutes include the following:
Name of the Organization
Location, date, and start and end time of meeting
Type of meeting - regular or special
Board members present and absent
Other individuals present during the board meeting (staff and guests)
Existence of a quorum
Brief description of agenda items and action taken on each item
A summary of actions that require follow-up by the board or staff
Again, other than recording these pertinent items, less is usually more.
If you need or want additional insight regarding appropriate protocol regarding minutes, please consult with the organization’s legal counsel, since this summary is not legal advice.
If you need a recommendation for an attorney, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.