Q&A: Are Nonprofit Board Meeting Minutes Public?

  • By: Gina Guy
  • December 28, 2023
Are nonprofit board meeting minutes public
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Most nonprofits are public charities, often staffed and operated by volunteers and funded by donations. Unlike a private company, nonprofits typically operate with more transparency than private companies in order to bring in new funding and show donors how their donations are put to good use.

Nonprofit board meeting minutes are generally not automatically made public, but the accessibility of these minutes depends on various factors, including the organization’s policies, legal requirements, and state laws.

Read on to learn more about transparency and nonprofit board meetings minutes. We’ll also cover how board management software makes it easier for nonprofits to produce, share, and vote on meeting minutes. 

What are Board Meeting Minutes?

Board meeting minutes serve as an official record of what was discussed, decided, and accomplished during a board meeting. Board meeting minutes together form a history of the board’s decisions and their decision-making process. 

Why might a nonprofit invest in software to handle meeting minutes?

The effort to create and approve minutes can be time-consuming, not to mention manual note-taking often leads to inaccuracies or mistakes. Meeting minutes software makes it possible to quickly assemble high-quality and accurate meeting minutes by using a nonprofit board meeting minutes template. This also results in a digital copy of the minutes that you can disperse, review, approve, and sign digitally.

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Are Nonprofit Board Meeting Minutes Open to the Public?

Nonprofit board meeting minutes are not always made public, but the organization’s policies and local laws may require disclosure. However, it’s important for nonprofit organizations to understand and comply with relevant state laws and regulations governing the accessibility of board meeting minutes.

Additionally, nonprofit organizations should establish clear policies regarding the confidentiality and disclosure of these minutes and communicate these policies to board members and stakeholders.

If there are concerns about privacy, confidentiality, or legal compliance, organizations may consult with legal professionals who specialize in nonprofit law to ensure their practices align with applicable regulations and best practices.

Nonprofits may want to keep their meeting minutes private when conducting an emergency board meeting or closed board meeting, as these meetings discuss sensitive material. If your nonprofit receives state funding or has government contracts, you may be required to publish your board meeting minutes as part of Sunshine Law requirements. For example, public school boards usually need to make their board meeting minutes public. 

Achieve Board Alignment with OnBoard

Some nonprofits are required to make their meeting minutes public, while many have the option to choose what they want to share with the public. OnBoard’s board meeting software helps nonprofits quickly record, distribute, send for approval, and enter meeting minutes into the official record without using any paper or manual processes.

Core OnBoard features include:

  • Agenda management: OnBoard simplifies agenda creation and distribution, ensuring all necessary topics are covered in meetings.
  • Document management: The platform allows for secure storage and easy retrieval of crucial documents, such as financial reports, strategic plans, and meeting minutes.
  • Voting and resolution tracking: OnBoard facilitates electronic voting and tracking of resolutions, making decision-making processes smoother and more transparent.

Download our free board meeting template agenda to bring structure, clarity, and efficiency to board meetings.

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About The Author

Gina Guy
Gina Guy
Gina Guy is an implementation consultant who specializes in working with nonprofit organizations get the most from their board meetings. She loves helping customers ease their workloads through their use of OnBoard. A Purdue University graduate, Gina enjoys refinishing furniture, running, kayaking, and traveling in her spare time. She lives in Monticello, Indiana, with her husband.