Preparing for your AGM:
An Annual General Meeting, also known as an AGM, is a meeting of the general membership held once a year by many sport and recreation organisations. If you’re an incorporated society, you will need to hold at least one general meeting a year, at which your members will approve the society’s annual financial statements. At an AGM you may also elect members for your committee and approve any changes to your rules or constitution.
Where do I begin?
Requirements for an AGM vary from organisation to organisation. The starting point is looking at your rules or constitution which will likely set out specific requirements about how an AGM is held.
You will need to give notice of the meeting to your members a certain period of time before the meeting actually takes place. Often constitutions will set out if an AGM must be held in a specific month or within a particular timeframe.
Prepare ahead – create and circulate an agenda
Your AGM should follow a clear agenda that is circulated to members ahead of the AGM. Your rules or constitution may also set out what items you need to cover at the AGM. For example, receiving the financial statements and the general manager’s report, electing new committee members, approving the minutes from last year’s AGM, voting on changes to your rules.
Ensure that you are providing members with enough time to review and consider the documentation they are being asked to vote on at the meeting. Be prepared to answer questions on matters and it is always useful to have a copy of your constitution on hand.
Forming a quorum – wait, what’s a quorum?
To hold your AGM, you will need to form a quorum – meaning you must have a minimum number of eligible members (present or perhaps virtually) at your AGM for the meeting to proceed. Your constitution will likely contain rules about what happens if you don’t reach a quorum – often it is that the meeting is postponed for certain period of time.
Can I hold an AGM virtually?
With the age of virtual meetings, some AGMs are now being conducted via electronic means, as well as, or instead of, in person. Giving members the option to attend your AGM virtually could be a good way of increasing attendance. You should always review your constitution to ensure the method you select for holding the AGM is permitted under it.
It is helpful to note, that the New Zealand Government has put in place temporary COVID-19 relief measures that allow incorporated societies to use electronic means to hold and run AGM’s, even if this is not permitted in their constitution. These measures are in place until 30 October 2022.
It’s important to record meeting minutes
An attendee should be selected to record minutes of all matters and decisions made at the AGM and to record the members who attend and formed part of the quorum.