Charities are required under provincial registration to hold annual general meetings (AGM) every 12 months. These meetings typically serve the purpose of electing new directors to the Board, approving audited financial statements and receiving annual reports from both the Chair and the Chief Executive Officer. Given each province incorporates charities and nonprofits within their jurisdictions, the organization’s leaderships should be well versed in requirements for their respective province [see reference: Pre-Meeting Fundamentals for Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporations]
Annual General Meeting preparation often requires a significant investment of time to execute. Given the importance and level of investment to stage an AGM, it would be prudent to have a detailed post-AGM plan to execute the business arising from the meeting.
With the AGM adjourned, what’s next? Here are a few suggestions that should be carried out in the weeks to follow:
- If your AGM is well prepared and scripted in advance you can expect certain business that may arise from the meeting. With this in mind create a detailed execution plan with assigned roles, responsibilities and timelines to ensure items of business are acted on. Any new, unexpected business arising can be inserted into your follow-up plan and execute accordingly.
- Members may ask questions or make comments ‘off the floor’ that may need your follow-up in the weeks and months to come. These may require circling back to the individual member(s) or the entire membership. Having a clear communication plan to address these items appropriately can ensure you respond substantively and in a timely fashion and nothing is left undone.
- Some business arising from the meeting may require new orientation of employees so they may fulfill their responsibilities appropriately. Have your HR manager assume the function on communicating and/or orienting the employee team about the business arising and expected changes.
- An AGM holds significant donor interest as the event marks governance leadership change and reporting on the use and impact of the donations received during the past year. With this in mind, the executive leadership should ensure strategies are in place to communicate the regular and new business with donors by way of email, new letter and/or the corporate website.
- Knowing new director appointments to the Board will take place it should be expected new members will receive proper orientations to their roles and responsibilities in a reasonable time. Scheduling the orientation sessions in advance can ensure all new members attend and receive training.
- Ensuring your website updates include uploading new board member picture and profiles, the approved audited financial statements, annual report and impact reports ensure all stakeholders and any external interested parties have open access to key information about your organization’s performance and governance.
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