An organization is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) charity that is classified as a private foundation. The organization’s financial records should be open for public review. Are its board meeting minutes available for inspection?
A private foundation’s general financial statements and financial records are not available for public review. The foundation is required to file an annual Form 990-PF that gives a lot of financial information and must be made available to the public. As a member of the general public, you can see the Form 990-PF and make some judgments based on what is shown there. But you don’t have a right to anything else under federal tax law. In the unusual situation in which the foundation seeks additional contributions and is required to register for charitable solicitation purposes, you may be able to get a copy of its annual financial statement from a charitable solicitation registration office, which would normally contain some additional financial information.
The board meeting minutes are an entirely different manner. Neither private foundations nor public charities are required by federal tax law to make their board meeting minutes available to the public and very few, if any, actually do so. Board minutes will normally contain information on issues that the organization considers confidential and not for public distribution. Part VI of the Form 990 asks public charities and other filers how they make their governing instruments, conflict of interest policy, and financial statements available to the public (although there is no tax requirement to do so), but does not even ask about board minutes. You can always ask, but I would not expect the organization to provide any information.