One of the most important starting points for a successful fundraiser is a well-run auction committee meeting.
This all-important meeting helps define the myriad of committee tasks; gives time to brainstorm; and keeps the project moving forward. When an auction committee meeting is run ineffectively however, it can run too long or go down a “rabbit-hole” with unrelated conversations, leaving everyone on the team feeling frustrated.
Use these tips to run an effective meeting:
- Elect a meeting lead
A meeting leader creates meeting agenda ahead of time and communicates an official meeting start time/location. At the meeting, the lead makes sure the group gets to each agenda point.
- Define the agenda
Define the agenda before the meeting (not during!). Add it to the invite and have printed copies ready to go before everyone comes in the room. Always begin your meeting by reviewing the agenda so everybody knows what is expected.
- Recap key elements from the last meeting
One of the 1st agenda points should be a recap of take-aways from the last meeting. This will serve as a reminder to everyone and create a sense of urgency to make sure tasks are completed.
- Assign task owners
Each task should have an owner. Make sure that person is present and clearly understands what they are being asked to do and when it should be completed. If you miss this step, you may end up with important pieces falling between the cracks.
- Start and end on time
Always start and end the meeting on time. Those who made an effort to join the meeting will appreciate it. If the meeting starts at 6pm, get there 15 minutes early so the group can start at 6.
- Make it meaningful and fun
Meetings should be focused time for discussion and task assignments. Frustration commonly occurs when the meeting time is spent items as last time, or if the topics do not engage everyone. Have some fidget toys out (e.g. playdo or stress balls) and provide light snacks and beverages.
- Go Digital
Not everyone will be able join the meeting in person because of location or childcare. Invite those who can’t be there in person to a Google Hangout (directions) or Skype session to increase the number of team members who can join.
- Wrap up the meeting with next steps for each person
After the meeting, send an email to all team members with a summary and the next steps. Be very specific about action items, task owners and due dates, so everyone is on the same page.
So make the most of your auction committee meetings by following these tips. A well-run, effective and fun committee meeting will translate into a successful fundraiser!