Check that holding a meeting remotely is allowed for your charity
Some charities may need to comply with rules that require meetings to be held in person. These rules may be from the charity’s own governing document or from a state regulator (such as those for incorporated associations) or ASIC (for companies). Check governing document and check with any relevant regulator.
Check the process for changing rules to allow remote meetings
If your charity’s governing rules do not allow it to hold meeting remotely, it may be worth exploring the process for changing the rules. This could be as a temporary measure for situations that require it or as a permanent option if it makes the meeting more accessible for people.
Consult with stakeholders about the proposed remote meeting
Identify who your charity’s stakeholders are and put the proposal of a remote meeting to them. This will help identify any issues with the proposal early and allow you to find solutions or make other arrangements.
Be aware of the deadline for holding the meeting
Whether in person or remote, meetings – particularly AGMs – are often subject to deadlines. These may be set by a regulator (such as the state regulator for incorporated associations or ASIC) or by the charity’s governing rules. In extraordinary circumstances, such as those brought about by COVID-19, there may be extensions.
Consider the costs involved
Some providers of video conferencing software offer free versions with limited functionality and capabilities. This may be suitable for your charity. However, it may be that your charity needs to spend some money for an effective option. Similarly, there may be extra technology-related costs that may come with a remote meeting – for example, devices, microphones or webcams.