Is it against the law to record a meeting of the board of directors of a nonprofit organization?
This is a matter of state law, and there are apparently some state laws that prohibit such taping without the consent of the participants. Many organizations nevertheless do tape their meetings, particularly to help prepare the minutes of the meeting.
If the meetings are recorded (and assuming it is not one of the rare nonprofits that is required to hold open meetings), there are a number of policy questions the board ought to consider. We recommend, if they record the meetings, that every member of the board be advised that the meeting is being recorded; that the recording be retained only until the approval of the minutes of the meeting and then erased or destroyed; and that any member of the board have the right to have the recording stopped temporarily at any time if necessary to prevent “chilling” the discussion of a particularly sensitive issue.
If the organization has legal (generally voting) members, any member of the organization, as well as any member of the board, will probably have the right to listen to the recording while it exists. It will probably be considered to be one of the “books and records” of the organization. Since discussion at board meetings is usually considered “confidential,” many organizations do not want to record the discussion, or want to destroy the recording as soon as possible if they do so.