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ParliPro Basics for Nonprofits

The bylaws of many nonprofit groups indicate that meetings will be run according to Robert's Rules of Order.  Commonly, however, few groups or their board members are well-versed in the 70 plus rules for the order and conduct of business according to Robert’s. For many groups, the following condensed set of rules is enough to conduct a well-run meeting with democratic process.

3 Basic Steps to Conducting a Meeting
  1. Chair calls the meeting to order.
  2. Meeting participants review agenda. Amendments, if any, are proposed to the agenda. Participants approve agenda.
    Once the agenda has been approved, including the time period to begin and end discussion of each item, the agenda may not be changed or amended without a motion to amend the agenda, a second, and approval by a 2/3 majority affirmative vote.
  3. The Chair conducts the meeting, allowing the indicated time period for discussion and/or presentation of each item.
Six Steps to a Motion
  1. A member stands, is recognized and makes a motion.
  2. Another member seconds the motion.
  3. Without rewording, the presiding officer restates the motion to the assembly.
  4. The members debate the motion. No member may speak for a second time until all members who wish to speak are heard once.
  5. The presiding officer asks for affirmative votes & then negative votes.
  6. The presiding officer announces the results of the vote.
3 Special Motions

These motions do not do not require the speaker to be recognized and do not require a second. They can not be amended or debated.

Question of Privilege

Can be used if you cannot hear or see the proceedings, but you have a feasible solution. You can stop the proceedings and get the problem corrected. No vote is required.

Call for the Orders of the Day

If the agenda specifies a certain time for each item and the meeting gets stuck at one item too long (i.e., it is10:16a and you are interested in the item scheduled for 10:15a but the meeting is stuck on the 9:05a agenda item), you can “Call for the Orders of the Day” and automatically force the meeting to move on to the appropriate item. No vote is required.

Object to Consideration

This motion may be made to kill a motion before it is discussed. A 2/3 majority affirmative vote is required.