Robert’s Rules of Order

Detailed minutes put your board at risk

By Ann Macfarlane / November 4, 2015 /
red warning sign

Do you include what directors say in the minutes of your nonprofit board meetings? Jurassic Parliament strongly recommends that you stop immediately. Detailed accounts of “who said what to whom” in your minutes are dangerous. In the worst case, they provide fodder for your opponents should your board ever be involved in a lawsuit.  In…

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What are special rules of order in Robert’s Rules?

By Ann Macfarlane / October 22, 2015 /

Updated July 14, 2021 Special rules of order are permanent rules, specific to your group, that guide your discussions and meetings. They allow you to make sure that your group talks about things and makes decisions in the way that works best for you. Robert’s Rules of Order encourages groups to set up their own special…

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Are summary minutes right for your nonprofit board?

By Ann Macfarlane / August 25, 2015 /
paper with pen

Over the years Jurassic Parliament has been a strong supporter of “action minutes.” We agree with Robert’s Rules of Order that the fundamental purpose of minutes is to record official actions taken by a governing body. Minutes are a legal record and document what the body has done. This is true for elected councils, appointed…

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Cheat sheet for the chair

By Ann Macfarlane / May 8, 2015 /

My new folding business card includes a “cheat sheet for the chair.” It’s our summary of what the person running a meeting really needs to know (see below). I gave one to a senior elected official this week. He read the first line and said, half-joking, “the servant of the group, not the boss?! That…

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Which Robert’s Rules should I buy?

By Ann Macfarlane / April 17, 2015 / Comments Off on Which Robert’s Rules should I buy?

Updated July 15, 2021 When I first became interested in Robert’s Rules of Order and parliamentary procedure, I toddled off to the bookstore to get myself the book. A thin volume with a purple and green art nouveau cover, proffering Robert’s Rules for the current century, looked like a good bet. I handed over my…

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What are Robert’s Rules and why should we care about them?

By Ann Macfarlane / April 14, 2015 / Comments Off on What are Robert’s Rules and why should we care about them?
photo of Robert impersonator

Updated November 19, 2022 Henry Martyn Robert, an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, published the original Robert’s Rules of Order in 1876. He wanted to help people who were working together in voluntary groups to run good meetings. Over a century later we still have problems running good meetings. Robert’s Rules and…

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