Meeting minutes are some of the most important documents for co-operative businesses. Collectively, they contain the official record for decisions made by the board of directors and the membership. This is important for good governance, strategic direction, and the overall operation of the co-op. Despite this, minutes are often viewed as a chore. This tool provides some tips to help make sure your minutes meet legal requirements and provide a solid record for your co-op.
Depending on the size of your co-op, the person taking minutes at a meeting might be a staff member (like an executive assistant) or a volunteer (often the board’s secretary). It’s important that minute-takers are aware of the level of detail expected in the minutes. Consider using a standard template for meeting agendas so your minutes will always follow a standard format. Also, provide the minute-taker an agenda ahead of the meeting so they can prepare the outline for the minutes.
To prepare for a meeting:
Some minute-takers like to record meetings to ensure they can check back on important details later. Others take very detailed notes of the business that was discussed. In all cases, the minute-taker should destroy their notes or delete any drafts/files once the minutes are officially approved. You only want a single official record, and these notes might conflict with the official minutes.
As a minute-taker, you need to determine what level of detail you’ll include in the minutes. Do you include names? Should you try to capture things word for word? Do we include action items? These are all questions that should be discussed at the first board meeting. Talk about the level of detail you want to be included in the minutes and modify the template below. In all cases, keep the following tips in mind:
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