Organising your Annual General Meeting
What is the purpose of an AGM?
- To allow your members to hear reports from the Committee on the achievements and work of your group over the year.
- To elect the Committee for the next year.
- To make any changes to the constitution.
Check your constitution for any regulations about your AGM
- How often do you have to hold AGMs?
- How much notice are you required to give of the meeting?
- Who do you have to notify about the meeting?
- Do you have to send the notice of the AGM to your members’ homes?
- How many people have to be at the meeting to make it official? (This is called the quorum)
- Do the group’s accounts have to be independently examined (or audited) before the AGM?
- Do nominations for new committee members have to be taken in advance or can you take them at the meeting? (It is usual to have a proposer and seconder for each nomination)
- How much notice is required if anyone wants to propose an amendment to the constitution?
If you are a registered charity, you should follow the regulations concerning the Trustees Report and Accounts. Please see our information page Charity Reporting and Accounts. Registered charities should check the Changing your charity’s governing document (CC36) section on the Charity Commission website to see if you need to seek approval before you amend your constitution.
Venue, date and time
- Set a date and time, and the length of the AGM.
- Book the meeting room.
- Think about whether the room is accessible to all your members – e.g. could a wheelchair user attend the meeting? For more information on accessibility look at our information on equal opportunities.
- Ensure that the room will be big enough to accommodate a minimum number of people.
- Think about the health & safety of your members – e.g. are there any hazards that you need to be careful of? Where are the fire exits?
- Decide what refreshments you want to provide, and check if there are cups, kettles, and any other equipment you need at your venue.
Notice of meeting
- Produce a notice giving details about the AGM and mail all your members.
- This should include date, time, duration, venue, and information about the elections of officers.
- You could include the whole agenda or just highlight one or two items.
- If you are a group based in Brighton & Hove or Sussex, you can print your notice using the Resource Centre print room.
- If you are one of the Resource Centre priority groups we can also design your notices for you, or help you to design them.
- You will need to present a report on your finances for the year to your AGM.
- Do you need your accounts examined by an independent person before the AGM or will you just have a report from your Treasurer?
If you are a registered charity with an income over £25,000, you must have your accounts examined by a Charity Independent Examiner – the Resource Centre may be able to do this for you. If not, see our list of links to other people who can do independent examinations of accounts.
Your AGM agenda should include certain items. Use this sample agenda as a starting point, but adapt it to your group and meeting – e.g. you might not want to have separate reports from the Chair and Secretary, and you might want to add in a guest speaker or performance.
Annual General Meeting of Brighton & Hove Pigeon Fanciers Association
Thursday 20th October, 7.30 to 9pm
East Brighton Community Centre (small hall)
- Apologies for absence
- Minutes of previous AGM
- Chair’s report
- Secretary’s report
- Financial report
- Election of committee
- Organise someone to take minutes of any decisions made at the AGM. It is particularly important to have clear records of the elections and any changes to the constitution.
- Take down the names and contact details of people attending the meeting so you can contact them afterwards – e.g. get people to sign in as they turn up to the AGM.
- Decide on your voting system in advance and make sure it is explained clearly at the meeting. For example: Do you want to have a show of hands or a private ballot? Will it be a ‘first past the post’ election?
- You may want to arrange a neutral person to count the votes.
- Thing about the materials that you might need to prepare in advance – e.g. ballot paper/pens – depending on how you organise your elections.
- Make sure the minutes show who was nominated, the proposer and seconder for each candidate, the number of votes each person received, and who was elected for each post.
Other tips & ideas
- Try to make the meeting enjoyable – think about making the business brief followed by a social with wine or refreshments.
- Have a speaker on a burning issue.
- Organise a raffle.
- Have someone welcoming people at the door.
- Introduce the present Committee.
- Think about providing a crèche or organising babysitters.
- It may encourage people to come if you offer to pick them up or meet them outside.
- Think about having a PA system or an induction loop.
An induction loop or an infrared hearing system makes sound clearer for people using hearing aids. The Resource Centre has portable ones you can hire, as well as a range of small PA systems for meetings.
Updated November 2015