Board Meeting Minutes (With Free Template Downloads)

Board meetings help organizations, both non-profit and for-profit, foster open communication and effective planning practices. These meetings are usually held at regular intervals and follow a standardized pattern to ensure efficiency and comprehension. Board meeting minutes are a vital part of each meeting’s record. Learn what board meeting minutes are, understand their purpose, determine what to include in your minutes, review a template, highlight useful tips and review answers to frequently asked questions.

 

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What are board meeting minutes?

Board meeting minutes are a record of what happened during a board meeting. Board meeting minutes are typically used for internal purposes like record-keeping and posterity. Occasionally, external organizations might request the minutes for court cases, audits or other investigations. 

Related: Effective Meetings: A Manager’s Guide to Managing Meetings

 

What’s the purpose of taking board meeting minutes?

Comprehensive board meeting minutes serve as a record of the board’s ideas, agreements and actions. Depending on the size of the organization, the locations of the board members and other factors, not every invited attendee may be present at the meeting. The minute taker distributes minutes to all stakeholders following the meeting, allowing those who couldn’t be present to stay abreast of the board’s actions. 

Board meeting minutes are also used to solve conflicts between board members or are referenced for clarity when board members can’t remember or disagree on the decided upon course of action for the organization or company. Board meeting minutes can be considered legal documents and must be crafted using certain rules and regulations.

 

What to include in minutes for a board meeting

The specifics of every organization’s board meeting minutes can vary depending on factors like the frequency of meetings, industry and discussion. A typical meeting minutes document includes the following: 

  • Date and time: Include the date of the meeting and the time it started and ended.
  • Type of meeting: Note whether the board meeting was a regular meeting or a special meeting. 
  • Notice: Mention if the organization provided notice of the meeting to the directors or if there was a waiver of notice. 
  • Attendees and absences: Make a note of the attending directors and absent directors. 
  • Guests: List any guests present at the meeting. 
  • Quorum: Note if there’s a quorum present. 
  • Departures and entries: Keep track of when people leave the room and re-enter the room. 
  • Reports: List key points from any reports provided. 
  • Resolutions: Note any resolutions agreed upon and dissenting votes. 
  • Actions: List agreed upon actions and dissenting votes. 

 

Template for board meetings

You can use this template for your next board meeting. Adjust it as needed to reflect your organization:

[Company or organization’s name]
[Meeting name]
[Date of meeting]
[Time of meeting]
[Location of meeting] 

ATTENDANCE

  • [Names of attendees]
  • [Names of absent members]
  • [Names of guests]
  • There [was or was not] a quorum present

NOTICE
Notice [was or was not] provided. A waiver of notice [is or is not] included. 

ORDERS OF BUSINESS

Unfinished business

  • [Names of those reporting]
  • [Names of those dissenting]
  • [Voting results]
  • [Key points from reporting, dissenting and voting]

New business

  • [Reports from CEO or executive director]
  • [Reports from the finance department]
  • [Reports from committees]
  • [Other reports as needed]
  • [Key points, dissensions etc.]

Action steps

  • [Key players]
  • [Specific tasks]
  • [Timeframe]

CLOSING

  • We will hold the next board meeting on [date and time].
  • The meeting ended at [time]. 
  • [Signatures of minute taker and board president]

Board meeting minutes template for PDF & Word

Check out our board meeting minutes template to help you take more effective meeting minutes.

 

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*Indeed provides these examples as a courtesy to users of this site. Please note that we are not your HR or legal adviser, and none of these documents reflect current labor or employment regulations.

 

Tips for board meeting minutes

To ensure your board meeting minutes are as useful as possible, use these tips:

  • Understand requirements. Board meeting minutes are considered legal documents in most states. Review the rules governing board meeting minutes in your state to ensure you’re in compliance. 
  • Plan ahead. Refer to the meeting agenda to create an outline of what will be covered. The agenda is typically sent out ahead of the meeting.
  • Include meeting details. Include basics about the meeting like the name of the organization, the type of the meeting, the directors in attendance and the date and time. 
  • Highlight key points. Make a note of key points during discussion. Use bullet points or an outline to capture important decisions, ideas and disagreements. 
  • Record meetings. Consider making an audio recording of the meeting to help you structure your minutes after it’s ended. This way, you know your minutes will be comprehensive. Be sure to notify participants that the meeting is being recorded.

 

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Frequently asked questions about taking board meeting minutes

Who can take minutes at a board meeting?

In most cases, the board secretary composes the minutes during a board meeting. The organization’s bylaws should provide an outline of every position’s duties, so if not the board secretary, look to the bylaws for guidance. Some instructions may also include a backup minute taker if the secretary is unavailable or absent.

What shouldn't I include in the minutes of a board meeting?

The minutes should serve as a record of the meeting and should avoid emotional or judgemental language. You don’t need to include personal disagreements or unhelpful comments in the meeting notes. You also don’t need to make a note of every single piece of input. The minutes should be as concise as possible, so record key points rather than taking a transcript or typing up the discussion verbatim. Finally, if the directors reference specific documents during the meeting, attach copies of those documents to the minutes rather than summarizing them within the notes.

How quickly should I distribute board meeting minutes?

You should distribute the minutes as quickly as possible. Some secretaries share the minutes immediately following the meeting, while others prefer to perform a bit of editing and proofreading before sending them out. Generally, most organizations strive to have board meeting minutes out within 24 hours of the meeting.

Board meeting minutes should be concise but with detailed key points. Find a template that works for your specific organization and prepare in advance for board meetings.

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*Indeed provides this information as a courtesy to users of this site. Please note that we are not your career or legal advisor, and none of the information provided herein guarantees a job offer.