The rate of attendance of members and volunteers in a meeting is crucial to not-for-profit organization. Attendance is essentially optional as it can’t be mandated. Meeting attendance increases the coherence and communication among all members. However, for some organizations, achieving this is a real challenge.


Before you go and execute your plans to increase the attendance of members in a meeting, 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
  • 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

1. Agenda

The agenda of a meeting 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. As stated in no 1, 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. Other commitments of members and volunteers need 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 meetings details and requesting a response to ensure receipt of the information. Key points that should be included in the email are the following:

  • Time
  • Location
  • Agenda
  • Reports
  • Motions on Notice
  • Outstanding Actions List From Previous Meetings If There Are Any

4. Healthy Discussion

Try to promote a healthy discussion-oriented environment during your meetings. You may do this by allotting specific time slots for members to talk and listen. Remember to also call out anyone courteously should they take too much time in talking. In addition to that, if people feel that their suggestions are being considered, and that their presence is highly valued during meetings their desire to attend.