Effectively drafting board minutes is crucial for nonprofit boards who are trying to perform a good job. It allows all parties to observe how the board accomplishing its objectives. It also gives members to be held accountable and aids in the process of being accountable to the funders.
The format of meeting minutes can be an art form, and can differ among organizations. There are a few key aspects that must be included in all meeting’s minutes. They include:
A brief overview of the main issues that were discussed as well as the decisions that were taken. The ideal scenario is that the board secretary will document the results of votes (i.e., the motion was approved or not) and the reasoning for each vote. This will provide an official record of the board’s actions in the event that legal action ever arises.
The minutes should specify clearly when the board determines that an advisory committee will be created to examine a particular issue or transaction. They should also note the percentage of those present who form a Quorum. The minutes should state whether the committee will have full power or make a decision that requires board approval.
The person who records the minutes must be impartial. This is especially crucial in the event of legal proceedings as minutes are often subpoenaed and used to decide an organization’s actions. A third party who is independent review the minutes is helpful to ensure that they are accurate, impartial and complete.