How to make your AGM a highlight, not a hurdle

Posted on 12 Jun 2024

By Adele Stowe-Lindner, general manager, Institute of Community Directors Australia

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A good AGM will help with your purpose.

AGMs are sometimes seen as irritating annual bureaucratic hurdles, as meetings that must be held merely to fulfil legal obligations. However, to community organisations, they can present a valuable opportunity.

ICDA general manager Adele Stowe-Lindner

First, they can be a wonderful way to build a sense of community. You can encourage this by promoting the AGM as a social event. Offer a warm environment that reflects the welcoming nature of your organisation, and provide snacks and drinks to encourage people to stick around after the formalities, to connect with one another. The AGM can promote collaboration among members and encourage networking and sharing of ideas to increase the organisation’s impact.

Organisations can choose how transparent they wish to be and how much information they wish to share regarding the financial position of the organisation and its impact. Keep in mind, though, that transparency in reporting financials, operations and outcomes builds trust with members and stakeholders by demonstrating accountability and the responsible management of resources. Good news stories can be shared with the wider community via the AGM.

As AGMs often attract well-networked people who are heavily invested in the organisation, they provide a platform on which organisational leaders can share key messages and see them disseminated throughout the broader community. To this end, leaders should share compelling stories, highlight achievements, and articulate a vision that energises and inspires commitment to the organisation's cause.

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