Tips for Holding Your Nonprofit’s First Board Meeting

By Stan Hutton, Frances N. Phillips

Your nonprofit organization’s first board meeting is more or less a formality, but documenting it is important because it officially kicks off your new nonprofit corporation. If you’ve named directors in your articles of incorporation, each one should be present at the meeting. You should adopt the bylaws and then elect officers.

You may also want to ratify the actions of the incorporator (including adopting the articles and appointing the board), adopt a conflict of interest policy, adopt the accounting year, and approve reimbursement of expenses of anybody who provided the initial monies to incorporate. It’s also important to pass a resolution authorizing the board or its designate to open the necessary bank accounts. You need a copy of this resolution to open an account.

Prepare minutes of the meeting and keep them with your articles of incorporation. Now is a good time to start a board book — a binder containing a copy of your articles of incorporation, your bylaws, and the minutes of your first board meeting and every board meeting to follow. Also be sure to include a copy of the letter of determination that acknowledges your organization as tax-exempt when you receive it from the IRS.