​​California Federation of Women's Clubs


“Inelegantly, and without my consent, time passed.” 
― Miranda July, No One Belongs Here More Than You

The Recording Secretary’s primary responsibility is to keep the minutes of the meetings of the organization. It is important that a true and correct record of all minutes is kept on life, as these records are the history and legal information of the organization.

The Recording Secretary:

  • Records and keeps the minutes of all meetings.
  • Ensures that the minutes – a permanent record of the club’s activities and decisions – are preserved in an organized and readable form.
  • Records the exact wording of each motion as restated by the president.
  • Provides a copy of the minutes to the Executive Committee and any other members specified in the bylaws in a timely manner.
  • Executive Committee meetings are confidential.  Minutes are distributed to the members of the committee.
  • Minutes of the Board meetings are distributed to all members of the board.
  • Calls the meeting to order and presides over the meeting when both the President and Vice President are absent until a temporary chairman is elected.
  • Signs legal documents as required.
  • Has motion forms and ballot materials available.
  • Performs all other duties as specified in the organization’s bylaws.

The ABCs of Minutes:

  • Minutes should be accurate listing all business in the order it was presented.
  • Minutes should be brief omitting all personal comments.
  • Minutes should be clear recording what was done.

The form for standard minutes:

  • The first paragraph includes: the kind of meeting (regular or special); name of the organization; date, time, and place (if not always the same): presence of President and Secretary or their substitutes; whether minutes of previous meeting were approved as read or corrected.
  • The body should have a separate paragraph for each subject matter.
  • The last paragraph has the time of adjournment.
  • The signature should be that of the Secretary; do not use “Respectfully Submitted.”
  • Following approval; record the date of approval with the Secretary’s initials written below the minutes.


  • The name of the maker of the motion
  • The final wording of all main motions with any amendments that were adopted, any motion to reconsider and whether each was adopted, lost, or temporarily disposed of.
  • Generally, motions withdrawn are not recorded.

All points of order and appeals, noting whether sustained or lost, and giving the chair’s reasons for the ruling should be included.


  • Amendments or revisions to the bylaws must be recorded accurately with the date of adoption noted.


  • If a ballot election takes place, include full report of all votes cast as shown by teller’s report.


  • Record the results of all ballot or counted votes with the number of votes received and the outcome of the vote.

Helpful Hints:

  • Minutes should be typed. Wide margins are helpful if you must make a correction.
  • A tape recorder is a helpful tool that can be used during the meeting. Inform the members if you are using one.

“CFWC Keeping Up With The Times"