Treat these notes as a starting point - it is a good idea to talk it over with your local advisors too.
Further information is also available from:
CommunityNet Aotearoa: an Internet resource for community, with lots of information about starting and running a group, as well as community events, community jobs and links to other relevant Internet resources. Find it at http://www.community.net.nz/ - click on Community Development Resource Kit, and look for Running Meetings.
Formal meetings are not just a series of unrelated incidents, they have established agendas and procedures so it is important to keep minutes to record motions and decisions. Minutes provide a good record of the organisation's business.
In order for people to arrange to attend, notice of when a meeting is to be held should be sent out well before the meeting.
A Chair or Facilitator is someone to lead the meeting, preferably not having a strong viewpoint on any of the contentious issues under discussion. Their task is to ensure that the meeting starts on time, that everyone gets to make their point and that the meeting makes its way through the agenda in an orderly way and finishes on time.
An agenda is what will be covered in a meeting. People attending should be canvassed to see if they wish to add items to the agenda and when the agenda is completed it should be sent out well before the meeting. Procedures dictate how the meeting will be run. These procedures may be laid out in the Constitution or bylaws of the organisation or they may be decided by the committee.
1. Welcome and opening
3. Minutes of the previous meeting
4. Matters arising from the minutes
6. Matters arising from the correspondence
8. General business
9. Reports (ie. financial reports)
10. Set the date for the agenda and next meeting
Minutes are a record of the meeting and must record the date, place and nature of the meeting. They start at the beginning of the meeting and finish when the meeting closes. They do not need to be a word for word of account of everything that was said but they must record the main points, decisions and motions.
Motions are a formal proposal for consideration by a meeting and would involve change to the current practice. If possible it is a good idea to put the motion in writing before the meeting, as the secretary must accurately record it. Motions normally start with the word 'that' and must be clear and unambiguous, i.e. 'that $300.00 be spent on a microwave for the kitchen'. The name of the person who put forward the motion and the person seconding it must be recorded in the minutes.