Two motions at once?

Dear Dinosaur: At a recent board meeting, a motion was made and seconded and there was discussion. During discussion, another motion was made and seconded to delay consideration of the original motion until the next board meeting (we have monthly meetings). A challenge to this second motion was made stating that the original motion was…

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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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After rescinding the motion, what next?

Dear Dinosaur:  In your September newsletter, you said that anybody could move to rescind a motion, regardless of how they voted originally. After a motion is rescinded, can a new motion pertaining to the same topic replace it? Answer: The motion to rescind cancels out the original motion and leaves the field open for a…

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Was this proper use of “Point of Information”?

Dear Dinosaur: A board member at a condo association meeting made a motion.  The motion did not receive a second.  The board member then said, “Point of Information,” and continued to state his opinion of why the motion was important.  Was this the proper use of “Point of Information?  If so, what is the use of…

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When can you bring up a new topic during a meeting?

At a recent council meeting I attended, the city issued a proclamation honoring efforts to assist the homeless. In responding to the proclamation, a local pastor asked the council to provide extra funding for their project. Before the mayor could move on to public comment, a council member made a motion to provide the funding.…

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Free Robert’s Rules motions chart

Are you puzzled by the system of motions in Robert’s Rules? It’s a very specific aspect of parliamentary procedure that can seem mystifying and muddling. Yet once you get a handle on it, it’s not so bad! Here is a free chart for download that shows the relationships of key motions in Robert’s Rules of…

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Table, Postpone, or Postpone Indefinitely

  The motion “To Lay on the Table” is commonly shortened to “Table.” This is a motion that is often misused. The correct use of this motion is to put a Main Motion aside for a short while because some other more urgent business has arisen. It can only be made once a Main Motion…

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Making a motion is a power move

As readers know, in a small board (up to about 12 people), it is fine to discuss an issue without having a formal motion on the table. Many of our nonprofit boards do this. A topic is listed on the agenda, and people kick it around before coming to a consensus about what to do.…

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Reconsider, Rescind, or Amend previous decision

  Some years ago, I had a dramatic exposure to the motion “to Reconsider.” At a 2-day meeting of our professional society board, one member (I’ll call him “Alex”) proposed that our society spend $4000 on radio spots in Washington, DC. He felt that we needed to develop a public relations strategy, and that this…

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