According to the American Association of Physics Teachers and About.com, board secretaries for nonprofits and corporations maintain institution records, organize meetings, take minutes and keep track of organizational deadlines. The board secretary’s role is much like an executive assistant’s role in an office setting. Board secretaries gain the position either through an election of a board or as an extension of administrative duties from another role within the organization.
Each organization has a specific set of rules for record keeping, but there are general guidelines for most organizations. During a board meeting, members vote on specific policies and discuss possible directions for the organization. The board secretary keeps track of the outcomes of the votes as well as the way in which members vote. The secretary keeps attendance of the members at each meeting and records details of deliberations and organization events in order to remind board members of developing plans. Board members receive updates and summaries from the secretary to keep abreast of organizational issues.
The board secretary also keeps deadlines for grants, budget approvals and individual board committees. Regular updates on deadlines and reminders aid the organization to remain on track with goals. Secretaries are also often resources for parliamentary procedures for board activities.