The Canada Not-For-Profit Corporations Act (CNCA) requires that Annual General Meetings (AGM) be held within six months of a not-for-profit organization’s fiscal year-end. As planners, the #REDSQUAD is intrigued by any opportunity to strategize creative methods to evolve while simultaneously ensuring that the associations we manage are effectively guided according to their bylaws. Follow the below tips and tricks to ensure your upcoming AGM is not only efficient, but also a stimulating and engaging experience for your members:
- Craft an alternative AGM format:
Encourage attendance and guarantee your association reaches quorum. By creating an innovative format, the membership base will be inspired to register. For instance, incorporate an informative educational event or a networking reception either prior to or following the meeting. Attending an AGM as part of a speaker series or networking reception provides benefits for the event attendee, thereby ensuring a wider, more representative membership turnout.
- Communicate your efforts to adapt and evolve:
Association management techniques must evolve as does the composition of the association industry, which may now largely be represented by millennials. Encourage members to register to attend the meeting by creating an atmosphere for open dialogue and providing the opportunity to learn from a stellar speaker lineup and a forum to network with industry experts. When marketing and communicating your upcoming AGM, focus on an alternative AGM framework to demonstrate that your association is utilizing its resources to provide a more purposeful AGM experience to its members.
- Script management and preparing the Chair:
The core to a flawless and productive AGM is script development and management. Provide the Chair and participating Board members with a script to review well in advance of the meeting. On the day of the meeting, host an audio-visual rehearsal at the venue with the Chair and contributing Board members. Train the Chair and speaking Board members on the voting process to ensure that they understand the practice of presenting a motion, moving a motion and seconding a motion.
- Encourage association member dialogue:
The purpose of an AGM is to encourage member participation by uniting the membership within an open and collaborative environment. Provide members with the opportunity to interject during each motion and conclude the meeting with the opening of the floor for discussion of any new business. By promoting dialogue and ensuring that members’ concerns and suggestions are acknowledged, members will feel empowered and motivated to assume a more involved and committed position within the association.
Planning an AGM doesn’t have to be an overwhelming and dreaded task. Focus on providing your members with a flawlessly executed AGM with innovative content that is sure to inspire member engagement.