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Nonprofit Meetings, Minutes & Records: How to Run Your Nonprofit Corporation So You Don't Run Into Trouble Paperback – October 2, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Nolo is always there in a jam as the nation’s premier publisher of do-it-yourself legal books.” Newsweek “Nolo has published incredibly useful lay guidebooks and consumer software on legal issues [since 1971].” San Francisco Chronicle

Book Description

This book has everything you need to make sure your nonprofit properly calls, notices, and holds meetings and documents actions taken by your board and members.
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Product Details

  • Series: Nonprofit Meetings, Minutes & Records
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: NOLO; Second Edition edition (October 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141331628X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1413316285
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have been involved in three small nonprofits, and when I read the title and description, I was expecting that the book would cover topics that would have been helpful to us in terms of recordkeeping and the governance issues, particularly those specific to a nonprofit. Given the subtitle, I also expected some guidance about some of the surprising things that we learned that restricted us, like the kinds of decisions we were allowed to make and the restrictions on the ways we could raise money.

I was disappointed to see that the main title should be taken literally, that the volume covers only the issues of meetings and keeping records of those meetings, and that it assumes a non-profit with its own office space and employees. Given how narrow the subject was, I would suggest to the author that he cover in more depth alternate situations, like where the records can and/or should be kept when there is no permanent office. Indeed, with the internet, it's possible that a nonprofit organization can exist soley in cyberspace, with an elected board drawing from multiple states that turns over completely every few years. The issue of where and how to keep physical records in that case would I think give much better depth to the discussion that would make the whys and wherefores more clear even in a case where there is a rented office and a filing cabinet in an obvious central location.

My favorite chapter was the last chapter, which discussed how and when to choose and use an attorney and a tax advisor. I thought it contained a lot of valuable advice.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
NOLO's Nonprofit Meetings, Minutes & Records
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Pros: Easy to read. Explains important terms and definitions. Step by step instructions. Sample documents in the book and on CD. Detailed instructions on finding relevant state-by-state statutes on the Internet. Provides valuable tips (for example, why to vote "no" instead of "abstain" to minimize your legal liability.)
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Cons: Relevance mostly to 501(c)(3) corporations. No discussion on how to actually run a meeting. No discussion on how to handle dissension or questions at meetings, or how to document them. Some "page count inflation" due to repetitious material. A bit pricey.
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Full Review:
Several years ago I helped form a very small 501(c)(3) and had absolutely no idea what I was getting into. This book would have helped me then. Maybe it will help you now.

This book tackles one very narrow but important topic for 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporations: Legally required meetings of the Board of Directors and the Membership (if the organization is structured legally as a member organization.) It provides sound footing for understanding the operational details of these meetings. It explains such meeting protocol basics as:
*calling
*holding
*noticing
*recording minutes
*waiving notice
*managing paperwork

The book provides step-by-step instructions, the needed forms, and explanations on how to use them. (The forms are also on the included CD in .rtf format, which can be read by just about any word processor, PC or Mac. There is also one file also in .xls format for spreadsheets.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Nonprofit Meetings, Minutes & Records (How to Run Your Nonprofit Corporation So You Don't Run Into Trouble) is an easy to read, no nonsense book designed to give the reader uniform information on how to do things correctly in the mostly volunteer world of nonprofit governance.

Having served on numerous Board of Trustees (and Directors) I found that the information was familiar, but exceptionally well presented in plain English (plain as in readable - conversational, not legal), and organized in logical order.

That said, I need to be very clear: this book does not take the place of qualified legal advice that every nonprofit should have. If you serve on a nonprofit or sit on a nonprofit Board, your organization should have a knowledgeable, licensed attorney that you can turn to when matters dictate real legal advice. I would also remind people on Boards that every Board is unique in that they are all the same - meetings must be conducted, minutes kept, bylaws followed. Most importantly ethical behavior MUST be followed by Board members. The Board that operates without an ethical blueprint is lost.

This book instead covers the gamut of high level questions that could come to a body that is organizing, incorporating, constructing bylaws and following through with everything that they would need to do to stay within the confines of the law with usual and customary procedures and forms.

I especially liked the "tips" that pop up at helpful points throughout the text designed to help you simplify where possible.

This book is not a replacement for a book on parliamentary procedure. In fact most nonprofits don't need a complete tome on parliamentary procedure - they just need to know the basic rules for a meeting.
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