Format for Board Meeting Agenda: A Comprehensive Guide

Board meetings are essential formal gatherings where decisions that influence the entire organization are made.

A good agenda can keep everyone on track and focused on key topics. That is why creating an effective format for board meeting agenda is vital to getting the most out of the time spent together.

This article outlines best practices for creating a compelling board meeting agenda, so your meeting can run smoothly. A suitable format allows directors enough time to review materials and ask questions before the meeting begins.

Directors can also use the agenda as a guide during the session to cover all topics. 

What Is a Board Meeting Agenda?

A board meeting agenda is a list of topics and key points to be discussed at a board meeting. Included in this document are the meeting’s time and date, the name of whoever will oversee the meeting, and any supporting documents or reports. Board members typically receive this document before the meeting to prepare for discussion.

Why Is Board Meeting Agenda Important?

oval brown wooden conference table and chairs inside conference room
Photo by Benjamin Child on Unsplash

Attending a meeting unprepared can be mentally stressful. Having an agenda can minimize that stress, as it will: 

  • Provide instructions for what the meeting is going to address. 
  • Prepare everyone involved in advance.
  • Make it easier for the directors to plan their time.
  • Help ensure that the Board addresses all items on the agenda.
  • Help the Directors to raise any concerns or questions they have about an item on the agenda in advance.
  • Aid the organization in fulfilling its legal obligations. 

The preparation needed to ensure proper engagement, focus, and quick action of the Board is equally important as the meeting planning itself.

Format for Board Meeting Agenda

Creating an agenda can sometimes be intimidating. While there is no universal structure for a board meeting agenda, there are some general rules to follow to create something beneficial. The board meeting agenda should be designed to include the following parts:

1. A Heading

The heading of a board meeting agenda should generally include the following information: 

  • Name of the company or organization 
  • Date of the meeting 
  • Time of the meeting 
  • Location of the meeting

2. A Call to Order

The call to order of a board meeting agenda happens when the chair of the meeting calls for the start of the meeting.

Following the call to order, the board chair may make opening remarks, ask for introductions, or read the mission statement. The idea is to get down to the business at hand by usually stating the first item on the agenda.

3. Changes to the Agenda

Making changes to the agenda of a board meeting may involve adding or removing items or rearranging the order of items.

Typically, this is a task for the board secretary or another staff member responsible for setting the agenda. Board members may also suggest changes to the plan before and during the meeting.

4. Approval of the Minutes of the Previous Meeting

In the board meeting agenda, make a place for board members to adopt the minutes of the previous meeting. The board members often receive these minutes in advance. This way, they can make corrections or amendments to the minutes.

5. Reports

The report section of a board meeting agenda is where the board discusses and votes on items before them.

The Executive Director typically presents the first report, followed by the Finance Director. Depending on the structure of your organization, the nominating committee will also give their report. 

6. Old Business

There should be a discussion of any unfinished items from previous meetings. Such discussions should be put under this section.

7. New Business

This section of the agenda requires innovative thinking. This is where the board members discuss fresh concepts, which usually generate controversy and lead to debates. 

Your agenda should allow for plenty of discussions and a group vote to make decisions. Items may be changed, put on hold, presented, or sent to a committee.

8. Comments, Announcements, and other Business

This section should include any announcements such as condolences, anniversaries, and congratulations. Communicate the issues to be discussed at the next meeting should be communicated, including the time and date of the meeting. 

9. Adjournment

Adjournment is the official term for bringing the meeting to an end. This is where the meeting’s chairperson thanks everyone for attending and formally declares the meeting to be over. The Secretary notes the formal adjournment time in the minutes. Also, the next meeting’s date is fixed.

Sample Board Meeting Agenda Template

[Company Name]

AGENDA

[Date]

[Time of Meeting]

[Company Location]:

[company headquarters] 

1. Call to Order, 

2. Approval of the agenda.

3. Acceptance of the minutes.

4. Reports

  • Executive Director 
  • Finance Director 
  • Governance Director
  • Public Relations Committee
  •  Nominating Committee 

4. Old Business.

5. New Business.

  • Director nominations
  • Contract discussions

6. New Business.

Commentary and Announcements for Special Event VII

7. Adjournment

Date of next meeting: March 1, 2016

Conclusion

Don’t let a board meeting catch you off-guard. While the so-called “formality” of a Board Meeting Agenda may seem intimidating, it’s essential to understand the role of this type of document.

A board meeting agenda helps keep the Board informed about the topics to be discussed at the meeting. It provides a “road map” and a convenient reference for the Board. 

Use the format for the board meeting agenda in this guide to prepare for your next meeting. If you need help creating the perfect agenda, use Hey INK.

Format for Board Meeting Agenda: A Comprehensive Guide

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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