How to organise an annual general meeting (AGM)
An AGM is an important democratic and legal process for an organisation and it requires significant preparation.
First, check the rules in your constitution about the timelines and processes for holding your AGM. You may also need to comply with rules imposed by funding bodies.
Your constitution will dictate:
- the timeframe in which your AGM must take place
- who should be invited
- the process and timeline for notifying members and others of the AGM
- what information must be included in the AGM agenda and how and when that information should be received and published
- what reports your board, chair, treasurer, auditor and EO need to provide at the AGM
- the required quorum (the number of people needed for a meeting to be valid)
- the process for appointing an auditor
- process and timeline for director and office bearer nominations
- who is eligible to vote
- voting process and announcements.
Using a Task Sheet can be really useful. Click here for Sample AGM Task Sheet. Below are the key points to take into account when organising your AGM.
Venue, Date and Time
Set the date as early as possible. It might be useful to have it on the same date each year.
- How many people will you need to book the venue for?
- What is your budget for the AGM? eg venue hire, catering, IT, promotion, speaker expenses.
- Ensure the venue is accessible for everyone both geographically (do you have people coming from the north and south of the state?) and physically (eg disability access).
- Decide on refreshments and ensure all equipment you need will be available (eg projector, laptop, urn).
- Click here for more information from Staging Connections on how to plan an AGM.
Notice of Meeting
- your constitution will detail the process and timeline for advising members of the AGM.
- Who are you inviting? Is it just members or do you also invite key suppliers, supporters, stakeholders and funding representatives?
- Send a notice of AGM to all members. Click here for an template AGM notice. This should be done as early as possible.
- Do your members have to have any information before the meeting (eg any reports)?
Preparation for the Meeting
Check your constitution for what reports need to be prepared and presented.
Preparing these AGM reports is an important task. Start preparations early to ensure that you are presenting your members with accurate, relevant and legally compliant reports.
- Prepare reports, for example from the chair, treasurer, auditor and CEO, for distribution at the meeting. For larger organisations these reports may be put together in a single annual report
- Click here for a sample agenda. You may wish to have a guest speaker to talk about changes in your industry or a topic related to the role of your organisation
- Understand the voting procedure for electing directors and committee members, whether at the meeting or before (if written, provide pens and paper). Arrange a neutral person to count the votes for election of committee members
- If nominating new committee members, or people to undertake new roles, you should discuss these roles, and the associated processes, before the AGM
- Arrange a minute taker and timekeeper
After the Meeting
Ensure the AGM minutes are typed up, proof-read, circulated to all members and filed appropriately. They will form the basis of next year’s AGM. Click here for a template for AGM minutes.
- Here is a help sheet on planning and conducting an annual general meeting
- The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has tips and templates for organising an AGM.