Our clients frequently ask: How can we host an annual meeting if members of the organization are outside of Minneapolis, outside of Minnesota, or even outside of the country, and are unable to physically be present at the annual meeting?
Luckily, Minnesota State Statute Chapter 317A allows annual meetings to be conducted by remote communication. With the ease of technology in our back pocket, holding an annual meeting through electronic means isn’t just convenient, it’s simple! As long as rules and statutes are adhered to, an electronic annual meeting is possible. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Many organizations’ Bylaws state when the annual meeting should take place, but few describe “how” the meeting should take place. This lack of specificity allows Minnesota State Statute Sections 317A.431, Subd. 3 and 317A.450, subd. 2. to step in. In order to conduct the organization’s annual meeting solely by means of remote communication, we must:
Give notice to every voting member entitled to vote;
Voting members should provide their email addresses to be able to be contacted regarding meeting notice. This constitutes consent to receive the notice via e-mail. And, actual participation in the meeting is waiver of notice;
Implement reasonable measures to verify that each person deemed “present” and entitled to vote at the meeting is in fact a voting member in good standing;
Implement reasonable measures to provide each voting member entitled to vote with a reasonable opportunity to participate in the meeting – this includes reading/hearing the proceedings, having members’ remarks read/heard by other voting members concurrently with the making of those remarks, and electronic voting. Once the vote ends, the results are reported back to the membership within 7 days of the close of the survey.
In short, it is important to 1.) give notice; 2.) verify membership of those “present”; and 3.) provide a space or opportunity for voters to leave remarks, comments, or concerns.
One amazing platform to complete all of these is https://electionbuddy.com/. Election Buddy is simple to use and user-friendly and is capable of creating a ballot suited for your organization’s annual meeting needs. Election Buddy has three (3) straightforward steps:
1. Setup. Here you can add election details, create your ballot and notice, and input your voter list.
2. Vote. Notify voters via e-mail and send reminders about the election.
3. Results. Results are automatically tabulated in helpful graphs, summaries, and charts. Election Buddy also allows you to share your results with the voters, or even publish them to a web page.
With the help from Election Buddy, remote annual meetings are now a convenient option. With a myriad of election and ballot types, along with helpful and user-friendly tools, Election Buddy is making the lives of nonprofit leaders easier! Check it out!!