Minutes of Board meetings play a significant role in ensuring good governance for any company, regardless of whether it’s a non-profit or if you are running small-scale business. Writing effective minutes of board meetings can be difficult. Boards need to be mindful not to include information that could violate their legal or ethical obligations. It’s also important that the person taking minutes to refrain from expressing any personal opinions or prejudices which could come across as unprofessional.

Attendance List of those who attended a meeting either in person, or via webcast or phone. This is helpful for tracking whether any board members were absent or tardy as well as to confirm that the right number of persons were present at every vote.

Agenda A list of subjects to be discussed during the meeting. This is usually sent out in advance so that the participants have time to review the agenda prior to when the meeting starts.

Minutes are the official record of the meeting, usually created by a board secretary or another staff member. Minutes should include a summary of each item, which should include the action taken and who was either in favor or against it. To ensure clarity and readability the minutes must be concise and clearly edited. The final version should contain all documents mentioned in the minutes.

Minutes should not contain any side discussions or off the record comments unless they are directly related to an agenda item. If the discussion is not in connection with the issue on the agenda, it should be noted that a tangent was discussed but not recorded.