Board meeting minutes are a legal document describing what has taken place during a given meeting. The minutes substantiate that the board is fulfilling its legal responsibilities and duty of care. Minutes should reflect what has taken place during the meeting so that someone who was not in attendance can understand what occurred. Meeting minutes should be typed in a consistent format for every meeting (see resources for a document example).
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Prepare for your meeting by creating a template for your minutes. The minutes must contain the following: the name of the organisation, whether it is a regular or special meeting, the date of the meeting, the starting time and ending time, a description of the items on the agenda and the names of those in attendance. This portion of the document can be prepared ahead of time.
Take detailed notes during the meeting. Each agenda presented should list a complete description and resolution. For example, if the annual operating budget and quarterly financial statements are being discussed, the minutes should state the details, the members in support and the members in opposition. Record whether or not the motion was approved. Any comments or suggestions regarding the agenda at hand should also be noted. Any follow-up action items also need to be listed.
List the names of the board members not in attendance at the meeting. Absence from a meeting does not relieve the board member from their duties.
Type the meeting minutes shortly after the conclusion of the meeting, while the information is still fresh in your mind. The minutes should be distributed to all board members for review before the next scheduled meeting. Board members have an opportunity to make any suggestions for changes to the minutes. After the minutes are finalised, they need to be signed by the officers of the organisation. The minutes are now a permanent record and should be stored in a secure location.
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