How to…

Make a motion.

I move that the Club spend $500 on new furniture for the clubhouse.

I move that we plan the summer event for July 15.

Write the minutes.

Write down what gets done in a meeting, not what everyone says. If it requires a motion, that needs to be in the minutes. You write: “It was moved and seconded to spend $500 on new furniture for the clubhouse. Motion adopted. ” (or, a majority voted no, in which case: Motion lost.) That is really all you need. Writing down what everyone said makes it hard to write the minutes and torture to read them.

Recommended wording from Robert’s Rules of Order is that a motion is either adopted  or it is lost.  RONR (12th ed., 4:43(2) [RONR (11th ed.) page 48, line 24]   “Adopted” seems more precise than “passed” because the organization now will take action.

Use Unanimous Consent

When you expect no opposition to a motion, you can expedite things by saying: “If there is no objection, we will do X.” (Approve the minutes, adjourn, agree to send a motion to a committee, amend a motion).   This is effective especially in small boards because it is easy to see that you have agreement.    But!  What if there is an objection?   This may be because someone doesn’t want to do X or it may be that they want a vote taken.   Either way, if there is an objection, you proceed to a vote.   “OK, there is an objection, so we will vote.  Those in favor of sending motion X to a committee, say Aye.  Those opposed say No.”   [Majority rules! No one has veto power.]  

In a small board meeting in which I was Chair we had just adopted a budget when the Communications Chair arrived and said:   “I can’t do this on $2000.  I need $3000.” After much back and forth, I said: “Is there any objection to amending the budget by changing line 6 to $3000?”  There was no objection. so that is what we did.  Otherwise, we would have had to rescind or reconsider the vote on the budget, move to amend it, vote on the amendment, then vote on the budget again.  

Preside at a meeting.

What should you say? Use this as a guide:
It is 7:00 p.m.    Please be seated.

This meeting will come to order. 

The Secretary will call the roll [or make note of who is present and absent].

Welcome to the board [or regular member or annual] meeting of XYZ.    

            Introduce guests/new board members/new members 

A draft of the Minutes of our last meeting was sent out in advance of this meeting; are there any corrections to the Minutes?

Hearing none, the Minutes stand approved as distributed.

The next order of business is the Finance Report.     [The Treasurer gives a report: how much has been spent and collected; what are the fund balances.]

A copy of the Report shall be filed with the Secretary.

The next order of business is the Report of Officers:


Reports of other officers

Committee Reports [each committee chair gives a report; a motion may be made during the report if the committee has something it wants approved or spent or done]           






Under Unfinished Business, there is a motion to spend $350 to purchase a new laptop computer.  Is there further discussion?  

[discussion and amendments happen at this time]

[now repeat the motion so everyone knows what they are voting on:]

It is moved and seconded to spend $350 to purchase a new laptop computer.

Those in favor say Aye. Those opposed say No.   The Ayes have it, the motion is adopted, and we will spend $350 to purchase a new laptop computer.

Is there any new Business?    The chair understands there is a motion relating to a donation to the summer downtown festival.    [Motion]

It is moved and seconded to donate $100 to the summer downtown festival.  Is there any discussion?………

      [Take the vote….and announce results …..]

Are there any items to be discussed under Good of the Order/Open Forum?     Are there any announcements?    

 Next board meeting is  ____________. 

Our annual meeting is set for _______________ . 

Are there further announcements?  Is there any further business? 

If there are no objections, this meeting will adjourn.   Hearing none, this meeting is adjourned.  

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