Charity Commission AGM Rules and UK Regulations

Charity Commission AGM rules and UK legal requirements - agendas, does a charity have an AGM, what happens if you don't, who can attend, minutes & more.

Charity Commission AGM Rules and UK Regulations

A simple, practical guide to the Charity Commission AGM rules and regulations for UK charities - agendas, the law on AGMs, does a charity have to hold an AGM, what happens if you don't hold an AGM, who can attend, meeting minutes and more.

Charity Commission AGM Rules

The Charity Commission AGM rules, as well as those for trustee and other meetings are published as CC48 Charities and Meetings.

Does a Charity Have to Hold an AGM by Law?

Holding an AGM is no longer a legal requirement in the Companies Act (for charitable companies) but, if you have an old constitution, it may still be in it.  Even though it's no longer a legal requirement your charity will still be required to hold and AGM.  However, be aware that there are lots of different charity constitutions, so you must check your constitution.

What Happens if a Charity Does Not Hold an AGM?

If your charity is required to and does not hold an AGM it could lead to internal conflict, a loss of confidence by stakeholders and funders and, if someone complains to the Charity Commission, regulatory intervention.

What is the Purpose of a Charity AGM?

The aim of the AGM is to provide the charity trustees and/or officers the opportunity to explain their management of the charity to the members. It also provides the members of the charity with an opportunity to ask questions before voting on business items on the agenda.

How Do We Call a Charity AGM?

Unless the governing document states otherwise, the notice of the AGM will need to be sent to all the members of a charity and to any other people entitled to receive them. Some charities may be required to have an AGM or users’ meeting but not have a membership (for example, a village hall charity). In these cases, the instructions in the governing document about advertising the meeting must be followed.

What is a Charity AGM Notice Period? 

The governing document may state the number of days notice that must be given for calling an AGM. If it does not, reasonable notice should be given.  It’s best practice for copies of the charity’s annual report and accounts either to be sent to each member, or made available at the venue prior to the start of the meeting.

Charity AGM Agenda

An charity AGM agenda lists the items to be discussed.  You should check your charity governing document to see what issues must be covered for an AGM, or EGM.  An AGM agenda may include the approval of the financial statements, the re-election of officers, and the appointment or re-appointment of auditors.

Charity AGM Agenda Template

Here's a simple charity AGM agenda template.

At the top, the name of your charity and date/time and location of the meeting.

Underneath that, the trustees names, any apologies and anyone attending. That is, who isn't a trustee and cannot vote, such as your CEO or the auditors.

    1. Declaration of interests.
    2. Matters Arising.
      1. Outstanding actions from previous meetings and approval of the minutes of the previous AGM.
    3. Chair's Report.
      1. An overview of the charity's work over the last year, key successes, challenges and risks, and next year's plans.
    4. Standing Agenda Items.  Annual Accounts.
    5. Other Agenda Items.
    6. Any Other Business (AOB).  Such as the date of the next AGM.

Who Can Attend a Charity AGM?

Your charity's governing document will usually state who can attend and vote at an AGM. For a charity with a membership there may be different voting rights for different types of members.  However, done well, it's an opportunity to bring everyone together, so consider inviting others, even if they can't vote.

Charity AGM Minutes

The AGM minutes do not need to be a word-for-word record, but should include the type of meeting, date and, for each agenda item, key details of the discussion, decisions and who will carry these out and by when.  These should be sent to those who attended and, often are made publicly available, such as on a notice board.  The  Charity Commission E&W recommends that charities make the minutes of the AGM available to the public on request: they may charge a reasonable fee to cover the cost of making them available.

Simple Charity AGM Minutes Template

Here's a simple template for your AGM minutes.

The Minutes of a Charity Excellence Annual General Meeting (AGM) Held at … on ……
Trustees: insert members namesApologies:  Any members unable to attend.

In Attendance.  Anyone else at the AGM

Item 1 – Matters arising.  The minutes of the previous AGM were approved.
Item 2 - Chair's Report
Item 3 - Annual Accounts
Item 4 -
Any Other Business.  The next AGM will be held ……

What’s an Charity Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM)? 

An Extraordinary General Meeting (occasionally referred to as a Special General Meeting (SGM) by unincorporated charities) is any general meeting of members other than an AGM.

When Should a Charity Call an EGM?

Examples of items to be dealt with at a charity EGM include:

  • Alteration of the governing document.
  • Winding up the charity.
  • Merging the charity with another or others, and.
  • Discussion of an issue brought by members.

How to Run Meetings Well

For how to run meetings well, use our Charity Trustee Meetings guide. or watch our video (42 mins).

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This Guide to Charity AGMs Doesn't Constitute Professional Opinion

This article on charity AGMs is for general interest only and does not constitute professional legal or financial advice.  I'm neither a lawyer, nor an accountant, so not able to provide this, and I cannot write guidance that covers every charity or eventuality.  I have included links to relevant regulatory guidance, which you must check to ensure that whatever you create reflects correctly your charity’s needs and your obligations.

In using this meeting and AGM guide, you accept that I have no responsibility whatsoever from any harm, loss or other detriment that may arise from your use of my work.  If you need professional advice, you must seek this from someone else. To do so, register, then login and use the Help Finder directory to find pro bono support. Everything is free.

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