The goal isn't to have a meeting, it's for the group to make progress!

Running an Effective Volunteer Meeting

One of the best ways to retain your most valuable members is to have them be apart of an organization that makes progress and is successful. And if you want to make progress then having effective meetings is essential.

  • Nonprofit boards of directors
  • Association committees
  • Community event planning

If you’ve ever been part of these volunteer groups like these, you know that what happens during — and after —  the meetings is directly related to the organization’s success. But, far too often, groups drop the ball on one (or all) of the three steps critical to their success.

Pop quiz: have you have received the minutes from the last meeting and found that there were mission critical activities discussed but never acted on? Yeah, us too.

At AlignMeeting, our business is helping you get down to business. We’ve talked to hundreds of individuals to learn how and why meetings fail to produce results. And we’ve designed our solution to help you every step of the way.

Let’s have a look at how AlignMeeting streamlines and simplifies the meeting process to ensure that what gets discussed gets done. It happens in three simple steps:

  1. Pre-meeting planning
  2. Meeting facilitation
  3. Post-meeting follow-up  

Pre-meeting Planning

Have you ever been in a meeting that goes off on tangents without a tight agenda?

One of the most frequent complaints we hear from volunteers is that no one is helping them prepare for meetings. It’s no one’s fault. Busy admin staff rely on committee chairs to provide agenda items, and committee chairs in turn rely on staff for the latest reports. As a result, agendas often arrive late and incomplete.

With AlignMeeting, preparing the agenda happens online, so meeting planners and attendees can see the agenda in advance. Even better, you can crowdsource the planning, enabling multiple people to create the agenda and content together, in real time.

The result? Engaged, informed participants assuming shared responsibility for the meeting’s success. To learn more, please see Scheduling and Preparing a Meetings in the Success Center.

Facilitating the meeting

A great solution for meeting facilitation should work no matter how the meeting is taking place — in person, online, or some combination of the two. We’ve designed AlignMeeting to work for every type of meeting, no matter where your people are.

All you need is one person (or everyone!) logged into the AlignMeeting session to track the agenda, take notes, and assign action items to specific individuals. If you like, you can crowdsource the notes and action items, and keep everyone actively engaged in the process.

How does the audio work for remote people? The same way it always does. AlignMeeting does not replace your current calling or web conferencing system. It simply makes them better by tracking the meeting, notes, and action items and ensuring that all participants can follow up later.

Post-meeting Follow-Up

Perhaps the most valuable part of the AlignMeeting solution is having the meeting summary immediately available to anyone with the meeting link. This lets all participants (and those unable to attend) see the notes.

Most importantly, everyone can see the follow-up expectations, because each action item can be assigned to a person, with a due date. Additionally, each person with follow-up actions gets notified of their activity and can add them to their personal calendar. Even better, you can track assignments from all your meetings in one place, so nothing falls through the cracks.

Meeting summary email

That’s the goal of AlignMeeting. We want to turn meetings into action, so your organization can change the world.

Ric Pratte

Ric Pratte is CEO & Co-Founder of AlignMeeting. Ric is a long time high-tech entrepreneur and is currently focused on new business models in our digital world such as social business, digital sales & marketing, predictive analytics and game mechanics. Previously, Ric was a President & COO of Rapid Insight; Founder & CEO of JitterJam, a pioneer in SocialCRM software that was sold to Meltwater Group in 2011; and Co-Founder & CEO of Campagne Associates, acquired by Blackbaud, Inc. in 2006. Follow Ric on Twitter: @ricpratte

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