There are many ways to structure your board meeting agenda, and the only thing that is always true is that you must have one. Even if you find the perfect template, every agenda should always be customized according to the purpose of your particular organization. Below is a basic starter template that can be added to or amended as needed.
ACTUAL START TIME
An agenda template should begin with the date, time, and the location of the meeting. Leave the actual start time open and fill it in during the meeting so you can track punctuality.
List the active chair, board secretary, and all attendees present, as well as members who are absent.
Start this section with a clear sentence that defines what you plan to achieve in the meeting. For example: By the end of this meeting, the board should have set benchmarks for next year’s budget.
ITEM 1 (ASSIGNED TIME SLOT)
Describe the first item to be discussed, the member who will lead the discussion, the action that would need to be taken following (such as: Vote to decide…), and any resources needed. If there is no discussion lead, action, or resources you can put “TBD”.
Mark the projected time the item should be discussed OR the amount of time allotted to that item.
You can order items from most important to least important or take care of some housekeeping items first and then allot a specific section as the “CORE TOPIC”, followed by the same subheadings.
ITEM 2+ or CORE TOPIC (ASSIGNED TIME SLOT)
CONSENT AGENDA (ASSIGNED TIME SLOT) or other items
You can add sections such as consent agenda, board recruitment, or other secondary objectives or discussions here.
WRAP UP (ASSIGNED TIME SLOT)
This would be the time for any discussion to be revisited, final decisions to be covered, and follow up actions to be assigned.
Leave space to add the actual end time of the meeting.
NEXT MEETING DATE:
If already agreed upon, add the date of the next meeting or leave it blank to fill in at the end of the meeting.
Some boards like to record signatures of witnesses who can attest to the results of the meeting.
Remember, there should be no space on the agenda for reading committee reports. These items should be sent ahead of time in email updates or a group discussion board.
For more meetings resources, including calendar invites, sign up for a free trial of Board Management.