Quick tips: Holding your annual general meeting

An annual general meeting (AGM) is a meeting held once a year that all members of a charity are invited to attend. The purpose of an AGM is to give members a report on the charity’s activities and finances for the previous year, to allow time for members to ask questions, and to elect members of your governing body (e.g. board or committee members) for the coming year.

Read more about AGMs and the ACNC.

What to do

  • Check your charity’s rules or any legislation that applies to your charity to find out whether you must hold an AGM and, if so, whether there are any requirements you need to follow such as holding it by a certain date or having it in a particular location.
  • Plan an interesting AGM. There are formal requirements that must be met, but AGMs can also be a great way to celebrate your charity’s successes, acknowledge the contribution of volunteers and inform and engage your members. Some charities invite a guest speaker or provide refreshments at the end.
  • Ensure you have enough eligible and suitable people who are ready to nominate for any vacancies on the board. Read our quick tips on choosing a new board member for more information.
  • Arrange for someone to be in charge of the election (sometimes called a returning officer) to make sure a fair election is held and any rules are followed.
  • Have an agenda that covers all the requirements set out in your charity’s rules and any applicable legislation. This may include confirming the minutes of the previous AGM, presenting the annual report and financial statement (for some charities, financial accounts will need to be reviewed or audited before the AGM), electing members of your board, and time for questions.

What not to do

  • Don’t miss the deadline for holding your AGM. If your charity is incorporated and cannot hold the AGM within the time required, contact your incorporating regulator to ask for an extension.
  • Don’t forget to write up the minutes as soon as possible after the meeting. If the secretary leaves or misplaces the notes, you may not have an accurate record of the meeting.
  • Don’t delay sending any forms required by your incorporating regulator, and the ACNC. For example, you need to fill in forms that notify the ACNC about any changes to your board members or constitution. You may also need to submit annual financial and information statements. There may be fees or penalties for late submission.

AGM templates

Annual general meeting notice template 
Template notice for an annual general meeting.

Annual general meeting agenda template 
Template agenda for an annual general meeting.

Annual general meeting minutes template 
Template minutes for an annual general meeting.

Annual report template
Template for an annual report.

External resources

Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA) guidance: Enhancing not-for-profit annual and financial reporting, which includes a supplementary guide for charities reporting under the ACNC Act 2012 (last item in Related Links on the ICAA page).

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