What are Meeting Minutes
Are you the secretary for your organization or committee? If so, you know you’re tasked with recording the “minutes” of the meetings. Keeping minutes doesn’t mean you’re a stenographer preparing a word-for-word transcript, though it might not be a bad idea to record the meeting in case you need one. Instead, the minutes chronicle what was discussed and decided at the meeting.
While a narrative will usually suffice, you must be accurate and get the essential details. Meeting Minutes confirm the board’s instructions to staff or others, approval of an action or selection of members, officers or directors. They can also show that your group followed the rules. When carefully drafted, the minutes can help an organization withstand disputes, legal and otherwise.
Tips for Writing Meeting Minutes
Whether you see them online or at meetings you’ve attended, you’ll see that most minutes contain similar types of information. Not all of it needs to come from you’re recollection or listening. You will miss some important things if you take this route. Here are some tips for complete and accurate:
*Prepare a template of the minutes, with sections for the date, time and place; those present and absent; the meeting’s purpose; approval of prior meeting’s minutes; and action taken
*Note arrivals of members
*Have a registry for speakers to print their names and addresses
*Review the agenda before the meeting
*Record for each action item who makes and seconds the motion, the vote of each member, and the result of the motion. Mention whether a motion fails for lack of a second or recusals and the reason for them
*Jot down essential comments by members or guests
*Ask speakers to clarify their names or statements or members to clarify their votes
*Record the meeting with a smartphone, tablet, digital recorder or other device, and let participants and attendees know the meeting is recorded
How to Write Good Meeting Minutes
Equipped with well-taken notes, you can now fill in your template as follows:
*The date and time the meeting starts. You can note that the chairperson or presiding officer called it to order. Specify the room or office (such as conference room) and the building
*Purpose of the meeting, whether it is regularly scheduled or specially. If the latter, say the reason and how the members were notified of it.
*The members and guests present, along with members absent
*Any preliminaries, such as welcoming remarks, the Pledge of Allegiance or an invocation
*Approval of the previous meeting’s minutes and the agenda for the meeting you’ve recorded
*Reports, if any, from officers, staff or others
*The action under consideration, remarks by the proponent, supporters and opponents. Summarize the members’ comments and questions
*The member making the motion and the one seconding the motion and any further discussion
*The members voting in favor of the motion and those voting against
*The result, including any instructions given to staff to carry out the action
*The adjournment of the meeting and any announcements of the upcoming meeting
Examples of Meeting Minutes
Sample 1 – Formal Board of Directors – Regular Meeting
Call to Order. The regular monthly meeting of the (Board of Directors, Committee or Group) was held on (date), and was called to order at (time) by (Chairperson or presiding officer) who presided over the meeting. (Name of secretary, or person taking minutes) was the secretary of the meeting.
Directors Present. (Names of members who attended)
Directors Absent. (Names of absent members) (or none)
Others Present. (Names of staff, officers, non-members in attendance)
Approval of Agenda. Upon motion by (member) and second by (member) the agenda for this meeting was approved unanimously.
Minutes of (Prior Month’s Meeting). Upon motion by (member) and second by (member) the minutes of (prior month’s meeting) were approved unanimously.
Report of Officers.
President _____ presented updates on the progress of the implementation of the rules for use of the facility by guests. As directed by the board, President _____ executed the contract with the company providing security guards.
Treasurer _____ submitted the monthly report of revenues from facility users and expenditures. The balance in the bank account as of _______ is ______.
Old (Unfinished) Business.
1. Lighting System. At the meeting of (prior monthly meeting date), the Board considered a motion for a new solar lighting system. The Board tabled the proposal and directed the staff to obtain designs and estimates from three companies. The staff recommended to the Board awarding the contract for installation of the lighting system to (Company A).
Director A moved to award the contract for installation of the new lighting system to (Company A). Director B seconded the motion. The Board members voted unaminously in favor of the motion and directed President ______ to sign the contract with Company A.
1. New Fitness Equipment. (Name), Exercise director (name) presented a request that the Board authorize the purchase of four new exercise bicycles for the exercise room.(Exercise director) noted that four of the bicycles had irreparably been damaged and were over ten (10) years old. (Exercise director) researched six vendors and found Company X offered the best exercise bicycles for the price at which the group could afford.
Prior to consideration of this item, Director C informed the Board that he was a part-owner (Company X) and requested recusal from the meeting for this item. By unanimous vote, the Board permitted Director C to recuse himself and Director C did not vote in this matter nor discuss it.
With Director C’s recusal, there were eight directors who considered and cast votes.
Director D made a motion to purchase the four new exercise bikes from Company X. Director F seconded the motion.
Director A invited further discussion. Director E stated that the bicycles could be repaired more cheaply and that the facility could not spend more money given other expenses and contracts already approved.
There being no further discussion on this item, the Board voted 6 to 2 in favor of the motion, with Directors E and G voting against it.
Adjournment. Chairperson asked if there was any further business. Hearing no further requests, the Board voted to adjourn the meeting at 8:25 p.m.
Sample 2: Informal Committee Meeting
Meeting of [Name] Committee
[Date and Time], Conference Room 2, the Healthy Center
Members in Attendance [Names]
Announcements. We welcome [names] as new members to our committee.
Chairperson [name] reported that the free health care screening held on [date] drew 80 people. Eight (8) physicians participated. The screenings included blood pressure, pulse, temperatures, ears and eye checks. Some of the people who attended were referred for further examination and treatments. The event was a success.
Items for Action/Consideration. The committee decided to begin preparation for the fundraising run on [date] at [time]. Member A volunteered to contact [place] to reserve the track for the fundraising run. Member B stated he would contact the sponsors to have their logos on shirts. They will report on their progress at the next meeting.
The committee had no further business or announcements. The next meeting is [date] at [time] in Conference Room 2 of the Healthy Center.
Sample 3: Called (Special) Meeting of Board of Directors
A special meeting of the Board of Directors was held on [date] at [time] at [place]. Chairperson A called the meeting. The purpose is to discuss replacement of the roof on the gym damaged in the storm last week. The Secretary emailed notice of this meeting to all members as directed by the Chairperson. All members were notified. A quorum was present.
Members Present. Chairperson A, Members B, C, D, E, F
Members Absent. Member G
Discussion. On [date], a severe storm fell a tree onto the roof. Some water came in the gym. The staff was able to clean the inside and remove wet or damaged items and place a protective tarp over the roof.
The gym supervisor obtained three estimates for repair of the roof from Companies A, B and C and presented the proposals. The supervisor recommended using Company B.
Member F moved to engage Company B and Member C seconded the motion. The motion carried by unanimous vote.
Adjournment. No further business was conducted and the meeting was adjourned.