Annual General Meetings are a requirement under State Legislation for Incorporated Associations and have traditionally been held three months after the end of the reporting year.
As a result, AGMs have typically been held around March for groups that use a calendar financial year or September/October for organisations that utilize the financial year.
Holding an Engaging Annual General Meeting
While there is a formal reporting component to an Annual General Meeting, the event should be seen as an opportunity to engage stakeholders and strengthen support. Engaging speakers can assist in strengthening attendance, as can recognition events, to commemorate the dedication and achievements of people supporting your organisation.
Annual General Meetings need to reflect the tone and vision of your organisation. Ensure that invitations are sent in advance, and extend an opportunity for all relevant stakeholders to attend. Even if they are unable to participate, the AGM invitation can be used to re-establish contact with key supporters.
Media participation can be useful for an Annual General Meeting, but make sure there is content that is considered newsworthy. For example, focus the media involvement on the launch of new initiatives, or on the recognition component of your event. The Annual General Meeting should provide an opportunity to celebrate outcomes over the past twelve months and to position your organisation for the upcoming year.
Office-bearers will be elected at an Annual General Meeting and proceedings of this component should be overseen by an independent Chair. Ensure that processes are correctly followed to deliver a fair and valid result.
An Annual Report – make it a key marketing tool
An Annual Report, including financial data, discusses outcomes over the past year, and provides a written report to accompany the Annual General Meeting.
Annual Reports, need to be seen as more than just a legislative requirement, and should be considered as a key marketing tool for an organisation. For example, funding partners, such as Government and Trusts, will often require a copy of an Annual Report to support a funding submission.
This provides an opportunity to utilise your Annual Report to communicate outcomes, not only for the previous twelve months, but also into the future. Aligning an annual report with strategies identified in your business plan, can assist in communicating this vision, while also demonstrating the progress that is being made to achieve these outcomes.
Annual Reports and Annual General Meetings provide an opportunity to reinforce and strengthen support for your organisation. These requirements can strengthen the support and profile of your organisation.