What is a resolution in Robert’s Rules?

By Ann Macfarlane / February 4, 2022 /

In Robert’s Rules of Order, a RESOLUTION is a special type of MOTION. My friend the late John Stackpole, a distinguished parliamentarian, described it this way: “A resolution is a motion in fancy dress.” A resolution is used for important or complex questions, or when greater formality is desired. A resolution should be put into…

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Newly elected? 6 key questions for success

By Ann Macfarlane / January 7, 2022 / Comments Off on Newly elected? 6 key questions for success

Congratulations on being elected to your nonprofit board of directors! Here are six key questions as you prepare for your new gig, with answers below: What is my moral and legal “duty of care” as a nonprofit board director? Is it a good idea to “go along to get along” on a nonprofit board? What…

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Meeting or session: what’s the difference in Robert’s Rules?

By Ann Macfarlane / December 17, 2021 / Comments Off on Meeting or session: what’s the difference in Robert’s Rules?

When a group of people gather together to conduct their organization’s business, they are in a meeting. The group of people is called an “assembly,” and the event by which they gather is called a “meeting.” Sometimes in order to conduct business the assembly meets in a series of meetings. This series of meetings is…

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What does it look like if the chair is being a bully?

By Ann Macfarlane / December 2, 2021 / Comments Off on What does it look like if the chair is being a bully?

Guest post by Nicole Schenk Do you suspect that your chair is being a bully? Essentially, this occurs when the chair is not doing their duty to protect the rights of members during meetings, and allows their own personal beliefs or preferences to override their commitment to their duties as chair (or president or mayor—whoever…

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Don’t drink on Zoom

By Ann Macfarlane / November 12, 2021 / Comments Off on Don’t drink on Zoom

Dear Dinosaur: As our Zoom meeting rolls along, a member of our board starts making quips and silly jokes. He keeps his video off and takes a long time to unmute when called upon to vote. Then he leaves himself unmuted, and starts making jokes while others are speaking. A few days after the meeting,…

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How can I start running better meetings with Robert’s Rules?

By Ann Macfarlane / November 9, 2021 / Comments Off on How can I start running better meetings with Robert’s Rules?

For people who aren’t familiar with it, Robert’s Rules of Order is an intimidating book. That’s why we help make it easy for you to get started with the most important information for running better meetings. I.   Equip yourself with the fundamentals Download our article, Follow four fundamental guidelines for successful meetings. This lays out…

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People don’t want to be wrong

By Ann Macfarlane / November 3, 2021 /

Do you have board members who are reluctant to use Robert’s Rules? Who decline offers of training or useful publications? I think it’s because people don’t want to be wrong, and they suspect that if they take up this complex system, they’ll find themselves to be wrong quite often. One city clerk has told me…

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Right of directors to share feelings outside board?

By Ann Macfarlane / October 29, 2021 /

Dear Dinosaur: Board directors of our organization want to express their individuality and share their honest feelings with others outside of the board when they were not in agreement with the vote. When they do, those impacted by the vote feel hurt, disappointed, or pushed out. It seems that we are setting up a rift…

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Let’s teach our kids Robert’s Rules!

By Ann Macfarlane / September 26, 2021 /

Guest post by Ted Weisgal                           Scenario #1 Through Tee Ball, an introduction to Little League®, 4–7-year-olds begin learning baseball. Children are properly outfitted with helmets, bats, balls, and gloves. Each stage of learning involves drills. Scenario #2 A student becomes an officer. They attend a meeting. After formalities like roll call, someone, floundering, says, “I…

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