The rate of attendance of members and volunteers in a meeting is crucial to a not-for-profit organization. Attendance is essentially optional as it can’t be mandated, however, they are ways you can increase attendance. Unfortunately, for some organizations, achieving this is a real challenge.

When increased, higher levels of attendance at meetings can board coherence and communication. This is shown to occur across the board and between all members of the organization.

Before the 4

Before you go and execute your plans to increase the attendance of members in a meeting, first try to understand why they do so poorly first. There are various reasons why people do not attend meetings, here are some:

  • They do not know about the meeting
  • They receive late meeting notices
  • The negative perception of meetings in your group
  • They cannot voice out their suggestions
  • Meetings are irrelevant to them
  • Meetings are boring or take too long
  • Meeting place or time is inconvenient for them
  • Meetings have an unclear agenda

If you’re finding that your members are not showing up and you’ve answered yes to some of the questions above, then look at fixing these first and foremost.

4 ways to increase attendance

In saying that though, there a usually four issues that arise normally when attendance at meetings is low. These are; Agenda is confusing or non-existent; The time and place of the meeting has not been set or communicated to the members; Sufficient noticed has not been given about the meeting; When present, the meetings tend to dissolve into inefficient and unhealthy discussions.

1. Agenda

How does your agenda affect your meetings? The answer is pretty much, a lot. The agenda is there to lead you meetings down a productive path. Without an agenda, you could end up having multiple meetings about the same topic and no conclusion of what to do. Agendas help to keep the meetings consistent and running smoothly.

When it comes to creating the agenda of a meeting, it should be planned well ahead of time. With a time frame for each item. This will allow the facilitator to properly determine who should attend as well as the urgency of the meeting. If members feel that the meeting is irrelevant to them or has an unclear agenda, they will not bother attending.

2. Time and Place

Meetings should be scheduled and organized well beforehand. This is to ensure that members will be able to book the meeting in their schedules conveniently. If you don’t let your members know exactly when and where your meetings are held, they are far less likely to show up.

The most common thing that can stop people attending is irregular meetings. Problems can occur if your meetings are not set on a regular recurring timeframe. It can be too hard for your members to clear time for the meetings and can start to feel disconnected from the process.

Other commitments of members and volunteers need to be taken into account so that attending the meeting is easier for them. Moreover, try to book a venue that is convenient for everyone by making sure that it is near and accessible.

3. Sufficient Notice

It is important to notify everyone well in advance usually using email about the details of the meeting. To keep member accountable, requesting a response to ensure receipt of the information can work wonders.

A simple automated email will do the trick. Setting one up can save you time in the long run, meaning more time spent on the meetings themselves. When it comes to writing the email, key points that should be included in the email are the following:

  • Time
  • Location
  • Agenda
  • Reports
  • Motions on notice
  • Outstanding actions list from the previous meeting (if any)

4. Healthy Discussion

This is a big one. If you’re sitting in a meeting and everyone is arguing, you’re more likely to not show up to the next one. Pretending to have a family event every time the monthly meeting is scheduled. This is something you don’t want to see in your members. Instead, try to promote a healthy discussion-oriented environment during your meetings

You can do this by allotting specific time slots for members to talk and listen. Also making sure that everyone is being courteous and respectful of each other. If some is taking to long, remember to also call them out, politely of course, and inform them they are taking too long.

If people feel that their suggestions are being considered and that their presence is highly valued during meetings, they are more likely to show up more than once. This is the type of meeting you want to run.

Hey, thanks for reading, we hope this helps you in your quest for running one of the best committees. While you’re here, we would love for you to also check out our easy-to-use online board portal. Our software can help you implement and record your motions, minutes, and resolutions while giving you a safe and secure place to digitally store your documents.

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