An improperly organized board meeting can result in chaotic business documentation and even inhibit growth. On the other hand, a successfully prepared board meeting will keep board members better informed about the company’s course and facilitate decision-making.
What documents should business and nonprofit organizations prepare for board meetings? What are the challenges of gathering important documents for board meetings, and how to solve them?
Get answers to these questions and the list of board of directors documents examples by reading this article.
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Top 8 board of directors documents to add to your boardroom
The list of key documents required for board meetings can differ depending on your organization’s size and type, the articles of incorporation, and your corporate bylaws.
Therefore, let’s review the top board documents you’ll most likely need to conduct a successful and effective board meeting.
The agenda gives a start to a board meeting planning. It’s a plan that details what topics will be discussed during the meeting so that the board chair and other board members can prepare. Often, an organization’s bylaws have different rules that require board members to discuss specific things. In that case, they should also be added to the agenda.
2. Organizational meeting minutes from previous board meetings
State laws require every profit and nonprofit corporation to take proper records of a board meeting. Meeting minutes are detailed records of what was said or decided during a meeting. The organization’s secretary is responsible for the register and, thus, they must sign for accountability. Having such records from previous meetings helps board members be more effective during subsequent meetings. Moreover, they help every new board member to keep on track during their first board meeting.
3. Corporate documents
This is a general pack of documents related to or needed by board of directors for a board meeting. This package usually includes the following board governance documents:
- Human resources reports
- Bylaws of the profit or nonprofit membership organization
- Strategy of the company
- Approved budgets
- Committee reports
- Roles and responsibilities of every profit or nonprofit board member
- Status of action items
- Policy manual
- Documents related to fundraising activity if this is a membership nonprofit corporation
4. Financial reports
The financial statement is probably the second most important document to prepare for a board meeting. Without financial reports and other important documents related to the company’s finances, it’s impossible to make informed decisions.
5. General reports
Board members of for-profit and nonprofit organizations may also require general reports on the company’s performance from the executive director, consultants, other board members, and staff. These reports usually include basic information on company news and changes.
6. Board resolutions
Such packs of documents are also called corporate resolutions and include the board decisions made by the board of directors or stockholders during a meeting. Board resolutions are often used to make sure the company is following state rules and regulations, tax laws, and bylaws.
7. Fact sheets
These are organizational board of directors documents that summarize key information about the company, its financial and legal issues, strategy, and debts. Fact sheets are always well-structured and easy to read.
8. Post-meeting documentation
A pack of post-meeting documents isn’t usually legally required. However, preparing such a package is a good idea. Some examples of papers presented to board of directors after a meeting include:
- Action items for board members
- Surveys to get feedback to improve meeting flow
- Compliance documents required by federal or state law
- Meeting notice for the next scheduled board meeting
Note: Struggling with document storage? A board portal can help you create, store, and distribute documents at the pre-, during-, and post-meeting stages. Give it a try.
Common challenges with the board of directors documents and how to solve them
Preparing documents for a board meeting often requires much time and paper. Naturally, making last-minute adjustments to already printed documentation might become a challenge that can impact the board meeting’s flow.
Another common hurdle is the time crunch before the meeting for making decisions or reviewing reports. Furthermore, board members often must travel to attend meetings plus, their physical presence is obligatory to work with documents.
However, these and other challenges are easily solved with virtual board portal software. With its help, you can conduct a virtual board meeting from any location without the need for all board members’ physical presence.
Virtual boardrooms offer the following advantages:
- All meeting preparation is done online through a virtual board portal. Thus, you can easily modify documents — even minutes before a meeting.
- Board members can review pre-meeting materials at any time without needing to visit the main office.
- Board portals allow board members and stockholders to communicate from within the software.
- Virtual boardrooms enable a paperless board meeting since you can create, edit, and distribute all documents online — using the software’s vendor templates if you prefer.
Explore the list of all boardroom providers on the main page to choose the one that will meet your company’s needs and improve the governance process inside your organization.
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What information should be provided to the board of directors before a meeting?
Examples of board documents that board members might require before a meeting include a meeting notice, agenda, minutes from a previous meeting, general board meeting document package, and proxy. Some documents can be created with the help templates virtual board portals provide.
What documents are always required for a board of directors meeting?
The pack of documents required for a board meeting depends on the organization’s type and size but usually includes agendas, meeting minutes, governance documents, financial reports, general reports, board resolutions, fact sheets, and post-meeting documentation.
What documents should be in corporate bylaws for a board of directors meeting?
Bylaws contain the rules for conducting meetings, appointing officers and committees, and electing directors. Corporate bylaws should also include information about the company’s structure, lists of the board of directors and stockholders, statements of the company’s purpose, and management structure.
It’s also worth noting that articles of incorporation, bylaws, and meeting minutes are the key documents required by nonprofit board members. Without them, a nonprofit organization might lose its tax-exempt status.