3 lists every nonprofit secretary should keep


© Can Stock Photo/kikkerdirk

There are 3 lists that every secretary of a nonprofit board should maintain in the organization’s official record book:

  1. A running list of the dates of board meetings.
  2. A list of officers elected or appointed and their terms, including dates when they resign or are removed from office if such occurs.
  3. A list of all motions passed by the board, including motions that amend (change) or rescind previous motions.

So obvious, right?! Yet in our mobile and electronic age, often this is not done. The secretary may be faithful about writing up the minutes, signing them, and including the approved minutes in the record book, but often these lists are conspicuous by their absence.

Then, in later years, when questions arise about whether a board meeting was properly held in a given year, or who served as treasurer when the embezzlement went on, or whether we actually ever took any action about a particular topic before, it’s a mad scramble through dusty papers to find the answer.

In fact, sometimes secretaries aren’t faithful about the minutes either. There may be only drafts floating around, with no indication of when they were approved. So it’s even harder to find the answer.

Even worse, sometimes secretaries don’t keep the bylaws up to date, and fail to include amended versions in the book, with the date of amendment.

Don’t be that person! Take the time to create and maintain these lists and keep your minutes and bylaws up to date. Your directors, members, and successor officers will thank you. As will your organization if you ever come into a court of law.

Find other articles about minutes here.

Never miss an article!
Sign up today and get our blog articles right in your inbox.

Ann Macfarlane

Ann G. Macfarlane is a Professional Registered Parliamentarian. She offers an interactive and user-friendly way to master the key points for effective, efficient and fair meetings. Her background as a diplomat and Russian translator enables her to connect with elected officials and nonprofit board directors and give them the tools they need for success. She is the author of Mastering Council Meetings: A guidebook for elected officials and local governments.