Almost as soon as a season starts Presidents and there committee’s should start preparing for their Annual General Meeting (AGM). Many clubs don’t think about their AGM’s until after the season and that makes it so much harder and a lot more work organising it and engaging the club community.
It is a legal requirement for clubs to hold an AGM each year but an AGM should not be seen as a burden to clubs, on the contrary, they can be a very powerful way for clubs to communicate with members.
Here are nine tips to help make your AGM’s easier to organise and well attended.
1. Schedule early – schedule your AGM as early in the season as possible and communicate the date regularly to members. It doesn’t hurt to set the expectation throughout the year that attendance at the AGM is “compulsory”. Ask members to put the date and time into their diary or calendar.
2. Arrange the venue early – arrange a venue as early as possible. Most clubs simply run their AGM’s at their club rooms but you may attract more attendees if you have different location. Consider using a sponsor’s venue for something different.
3. Preparing financial statements takes time – A primary obligation for committees is to present the annual financial statements to members at AGM’s. It is important to make sure your club is presenting monthly financial reports to committee meetings so that it makes it very easy to prepare financial statements at the end of the year and have them reviewed and audited if required before presentation at the AGM. Remember preparing financial statements takes time, it can’t be left to the last minute.
4. Understand the club rules – It is really important that you understand the processes for running AGM’s contained in your club rules. This will include how much notice you will need to provide to members of the meeting, what information is to be provided to members, what defines a meeting quorum and voting rules.
5. Presidents Report to members – Another time consuming challenge is to ensure that the secretary receives the President’s report, Treasurer’s Report and any other reports to be provided to members well before the AGM. Allow your secretary enough time to prepare the Annual Report to members and send it to members prior to the AGM if that is required in the club rules.
6. Succession planning – don’t just wait until the AGM to seek nominations for the committee, especially for the key leadership roles. Throughout the year continually look for the next committee members, talk to them early about the role and if need be get them any training they will need.
7. Notice of meeting – make sure you send the ‘notice of meeting’ to members in accordance with the club rules but also make sure you also invite sponsors, life members, representatives from your associations, local politicians and any other stakeholders of the club to the AGM. AGM’s are a great way to bring people together to talk about how they can help the club, even if they don’t join the committee.
8. Special Resolutions – if you are proposing to change the club rules, club name or the purpose of the club (as well as anything else defined by the club rules) then you have to make sure that you provide to members the exact wording of the proposed change which is to be voted on as well as the purpose of the resolution. Remember special resolutions require at least a 75% majority to pass.
9. Get there early to set up the room – remember to get to your venue early and set up the room. Especially if you are expecting a large crowd. It is amazing how long it takes to set out 100 seats, put a report on each seat and set up tea and coffee. While most guests will arrive late, some will get their up to half an hour early which can be very annoying if you have not finished setting up.