This is Joanne O’Brien from CRH Law talking about 5 tips for successful meetings.
Something that often causes a lot of problems for not-for-profit organizations is meetings and meeting procedures, and that’s easy to understand because the board is often made up of directors who are volunteers and therefore don’t have a lot of time, and the organization’s employee who is given the governance tasks often has it tacked on to what is already a full workload. It’s easy for mistakes to happen or for people not to fully understand what is required. The problem is though that small unintentional mistakes can have large consequences. For example, if a problem with notices or meeting procedure results in your directors being invalidly elected or appointed.
Here are 5 tips for making sure that you can get your meetings happening correctly.
The first one is to know your constitution, understand the rules in that document about how to call meetings, who can vote, how voting should happen, and make sure that you understand that document.
The second is once you check, choose your date for your meeting, whether it’s a general meeting or an annual general meeting, choose the date and then work backwards so that you know when notices have to be sent out and when you have to receive nominations, for example.
Thirdly, make sure everyone involved in the process is clear about what the procedures are and everybody knows their responsibilities.
The fourth one is to make sure you’ve got someone doing a bit of a double check on all of your documents so that you don’t send out notices that have got errors or notices that, for example, don’t have all of the nominees for directors positions listed on them.
Finally, make sure you’re prepared for the unexpected. What are you going to do if the person who is to chair the meeting is ill on the day or for some other reason doesn’t show up? Think about those sorts of issues that could come up and make sure that you’ve got a second layer plan of action in place.
Hopefully, keeping those things in mind should help you have successful meetings.