Q: What basic items should be recorded in the minutes of my Non-For-Profit organization’s meeting?

A: Here is a checklist of basic items that should be recorded in the minutes. The order in which they appear will vary based on the needs of your Not-for-Profit.

·         Date, time, and place of the meeting;

·         Name of the person in the chair, and any changes in the chair;

·         Number of members present and their names;

·         A statement that at the outset of the meeting the quorum was present and a statement, based on fact, that the quorum was maintained throughout the meeting;

·         All rulings made by the chair and the nature and result of an appeals that arise from those rulings;

·         All motions properly moved, including the name of the mover and seconder (if required);

·         A list of all reports and documents introduced during the meeting (copies of these should all be attached to the official copy of the minutes);

·         A summary of significant points raised during discussions regarding the motions (note: this does NOT imply a verbatim record of speeches);

·         Any commitments made by any people present at the meeting;

·         The time of adjournment; and

·         The signature of the meeting Secretary. (Even if unsigned, minutes are considered evidence in common law.)

Alert: To fulfill the legal requirements for a charity or a not-for-profit, minutes for your meetings must be clearly recorded and maintained as long as the organization is registered.  

If the charity is revoked, minutes must be retained for two years after the revocation date.

These are important documents to maintain, because:

  • they are the records of the proceedings of any meeting;
  • minutes capture the actions of the organization while fulfilling its legal duties;
  • minutes demonstrate how decisions were made and who committed to acting upon them;
  • they assist new members to understand the organization;
  • minutes can be used as an evaluation tool of the work of the organization.
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