Crafting Effective Board of Directors Minutes

Crafting effective minutes for boards is crucial for boards of non-profit organizations who are trying to perform a good job. It allows all parties to see how the board is doing in achieving its goals. It also provides a way for members to be held accountable and helps the organization be held accountable by the funders.

The structure of meeting minutes is often an art form, and can differ between organizations. However, certain key elements should be incorporated into the minutes. They include:

A brief summary of the main issues that were discussed and decisions which were made. The secretary of the board should record the outcomes (i.e. an action was approved or not) and the reasoning behind each vote. This will allow the board to keep a record in the case of a legal lawsuit.

If the board chooses to enlist the committee to consider the merits of a particular transaction or issue the minutes should clearly reflect that decision as well as the percentage of participants who constitute a majority. The minutes should state whether the committee will have complete authority or will make a recommendation which requires approval from the board.

The person who takes the minutes must not be biased. This is particularly important in legal proceedings where minutes are often required to be analyzed in order to determine the actions of an organisation. An independent third party examine the minutes is important to ensure that they are factual, fair and complete.

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