Take better board meeting minutes with these examples and best practices

Accurate board meeting minutes are essential for accountability, transparency and regulatory compliance. Here's how to take them for your next meeting

El equipo de Slack21 de junio de 2024

Accurate board meeting minutes are critical for documenting decisions and actions to ensure accountability, transparency and business continuity. Organizations need to keep meticulous records to comply with state laws and regulations. For many of our enterprise customers, these records are created and shared in Slack itself.

Let’s explore the purpose of board meeting minutes, the legal requirements and best practices for keeping accurate records. We also include a board meeting minutes template you can use.

What are board meeting minutes, and why are they important?

Board meeting minutes are an official record of the discussions, actions and decisions made during a board meeting. They’re typically compiled by the board secretary and reviewed and approved by all board members.

Besides documenting critical details, board meeting minutes should demonstrate that board members have followed required procedures, complied with relevant regulations, obeyed the company’s bylaws, fulfilled their fiduciary duties and aligned their decisions with the organization’s mission.

The benefits of board meeting minutes

Board meeting minutes for corporations and nonprofits are often legally required by state and federal laws. They provide transparency about the board’s activities and decision-making processes while holding board members accountable for acting in the organization’s best interest.

Detailed minutes allow absentees and new members to catch up on topics discussed, decisions made and tasks assigned, bringing everyone onto the same page while helping resolve conflicts and avoid duplicate discussions. They also inspire confidence in an organization’s governance abilities by demonstrating clarity and consistency.

Keep in mind the legal requirements

Board meeting minutes must accurately reflect a meeting’s proceedings. They must also comply with state and federal laws and the organization’s bylaws. They are legally required to include these details:

  • Date, time, and location of the meeting
  • Record of notice of board meeting provision and acknowledgment
  • Names of attendees and absentees, including guests
  • Approval of previous meeting minutes
  • Record of board activities, such as acceptance reports, voting process results, resolutions, approvals, etc.
  • Summaries of discussions and presentations
  • Details of motions made, including names of members who made and seconded them
  • Vote results and the final decisions
  • Action items assigned, including responsible parties and deadlines
  • List of attachments, such as financial reports, committee reports, and other documents involved in the discussions
  • The time of adjournment

One type doesn’t fit all

Choosing the right meeting minute type is a Goldilocks situation: not too long, but not too short. It also depends on the meeting’s nature and legal or regulatory requirements. Here are the most common ones and when to use them:

  • Action minutes document the board’s actions, including decisions made and tasks assigned. They provide a high-level summary of discussions without detailed accounts and are most suitable for routine meetings.
  • Discussion minutes provide detailed accounts of the conversations, including different viewpoints and rationales behind decisions. They are most suitable for meetings regarding complex or contentious issues.
  • Resolution minutes record the resolutions and voting outcomes with the exact wording. They’re most suitable for annual general meetings (AGMs).
  • Verbatim minutes are word-for-word records of everything said during a meeting. They’re rarely used but may be necessary for legal proceedings or discussions on sensitive matters.
  • Condensed minutes summarize the key points and decisions made during a meeting. They’re less detailed than discussion minutes and only include essential information for quick reference.

Best practices for taking board meeting minutes

Don’t put everything but the kitchen sink into your board meeting minutes. You must capture the appropriate information at the right level of detail without overloading the document with unnecessary details.

Maintain an objective voice and don’t include personal feelings, biases, and opinions. Use concise language and avoid jargon, complex sentences, or ambiguities. Also, proofread and edit the document before sharing it with stakeholders for feedback and board members for approval.

Be selective about the information you include in board meeting minutes. The records should be specific enough to demonstrate how the board has discussed critical matters and acted in the organization’s best interest. However, they should not contain excessive details that could pose a liability to the company.

In general, don’t record the votes of individual board members. Instead, summarize how many board members voted for or against a motion and how many abstained. Also, don’t document the opinions of individual board members. While you should mention materials presented during a board meeting, don’t delve into extensive detail about the content.

Tips for organizing and formatting your minutes

Use a standard, consistent template to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. Separate each agenda item with headings and subheadings to create a clear structure. Follow the agenda’s order to establish a logical flow and group related items under the same section. Bold or underline critical information and motions, and use bullet or numbered lists to organize decisions, actions, and assignments. Also, create a summary of action items for easy reference.

Preparation matters

Walking into a meeting without a plan isn’t the best way to take effective and compliant meeting minutes. Follow these steps to ensure your board meeting minutes serve its purposes:

Prepare for the meeting

Since board meeting minutes are legal documents in most states, you should review the relevant regulations to understand what to include for compliance purposes. Prepare and distribute the agenda and prepare a note-taking outline (for example, you may use a board meeting minutes template as a guide.) Also, set up and test the equipment if you plan to record the meeting.

Record the board meeting proceedings

Accurately document all relevant and required information during the meeting to demonstrate accountability and transparency to shareholders, employees, investors, and regulators. Note action items and follow-up tasks, including the responsible parties and due dates.

Draft and share the minutes

Draft the minutes as soon as possible after the board meeting. Refer to your notes and materials presented to ensure accuracy. Share the draft with a third party like the corporate counsel, a staff liaison or an internal auditor to ensure quality, accuracy, and compliance. Then, distribute the meeting minutes to all board members.

You may use digital tools to help facilitate the process. For example, Slack canvas lets stakeholders collaborate on documents and automate workflows, ensuring the right people provide feedback at the right time. Slack also ensures that all the information you share is secure by allowing only authorized team members to access the confidential files.

Finalize and archive board meeting minutes

At the beginning of the next board meeting, revise the minutes based on feedback and obtain the board’s approvals in written signatures, e-signatures, or motions with unanimous consent. Then distribute the final document to all board members. You should also maintain official records of all approved minutes and store them in a secure, centralized, and accessible location for future reference and legal or regulatory support.

Board meeting minutes example

[ corporation name ]

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Date: April 15, 2024
Time: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m
Location: [ corporation name ] Headquarters, Conference Room A


  • Jane Smith, Chair
  • John Doe, Vice-Chair
  • Mary Johnson, Treasurer
  • Robert Brown, Secretary
  • Emily Davis, Member
  • Michael Clark, Member


  • Sarah Lee, Member


  • Lisa Green, Marketing Director
  • Tom White, Financial Adviser

1. Call to order
The meeting was called to order by Jane Smith, Chair, at 10 a.m.

2. Approval of previous meeting minutes

The minutes from the March 10, 2024, meeting were reviewed.

  • Motion: To approve the March 10, 2024, meeting minutes as presented
  • Moved by: John Doe
  • Seconded by: Mary Johnson
  • Vote: Unanimously approved

3. Financial report

Presented by: Mary Johnson, Treasurer

  • Mary provided an overview of the financial statements for March 2024.
  • Key points included a 5% increase in donations and a detailed explanation of expenses.


  • Michael Clark asked about the variance in operating costs. Mary explained the reasons, attributing them to one-time maintenance costs.
  • Action item: Mary Johnson will provide a detailed report on the maintenance expenses by the next meeting.

4. Executive director’s report

Presented by: Lisa Green, Executive Director

  • Lisa updated the board on the latest program developments, including the new community outreach initiative.
  • She highlighted a successful fundraising event that raised $50,000.


  • Robert Brown suggested exploring new funding sources. Lisa agreed and mentioned plans to apply for additional grants.

5. New business

Proposal for new marketing strategy

Presented by: Emily Davis, Member

  • Emily proposed a new marketing strategy to help increase community engagement and donor participation.


  • The board discussed the benefits and potential costs of the strategy.
  • John Doe expressed concerns about the budget allocation.
  • Motion: To approve the new marketing strategy with a budget of $20,000.
  • Moved by: Emily Davis
  • Seconded by: Robert Brown
  • Vote: Approved (5 in favor, 1 opposed – John Doe)

6. Old business

Expansion of customer loyalty program

  • Follow-up on the customer loyalty program expansion initiative discussed in the last meeting.
  • Lisa Green, marketing director, reported on the progress, highlighting an increase in customer sign-ups by 20% over the last quarter.


  • Mary Johnson, CFO, suggested additional investment in digital marketing to boost program enrollment.
  • Robert Brown, COO, proposed integrating new features into the loyalty program, such as tiered rewards and personalized offers, to enhance customer engagement and retention.

Action Items:

  • Lisa Green: To develop a detailed digital marketing strategy for the loyalty program expansion and present it at the next meeting.
  • Robert Brown: To work with the IT team on the feasibility and implementation plan for integrating new features into the loyalty program and report back at the next meeting.

7. Adjournment

  • Motion: To adjourn the meeting
  • Moved by: John Doe
  • Seconded by: Michael Clark
  • Vote: Unanimously approved

The meeting was adjourned at 12 p.m.

Next Meeting: May 20, 2024, at 10 a.m., [ corporation name ] Headquarters, Conference Room A.

Minutes Prepared by:

Robert Brown, Secretary

Date: April 16, 2024

Support effective board meeting minutes with the right tools

Attention should be paid to the details, but recording everything said and done during a board meeting is daunting and not always possible. The right technology can help you keep track of all the discussions and materials to compile accurate meeting minutes without swallowing up hours of your workday.

For example, all the links, messages and files shared via Slack huddles are saved on Slack for easy reference and retrieval. Also, you can use Slack canvas to collaborate on documents to facilitate the review and approval process.

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