Our inclusive AGM 2023

In the last few years, our Annual General Meetings (calledAGMs) have really not been very inclusive. Last year we tried something new. Read how it went!

An AGM is an annual general meeting. All charities have to have them by law. We have to prepare our company accounts (all our money information) and a big report of all the important stuff we have done in the last year.

At an AGM it can be hard for everyone to understand. We are sometimes talking about things that happened about a year ago. This year we made some changes so that more people could be involved and more of the trustees could be part of a normal day. We felt it worked really well and will do it again next year. These are the things we did differently:

  1. We bought the AGM to our usual Monday company, instead of asking people to come to a special meeting at a different time. None of the artists on a Monday HAD to come – but everyone CHOSE to come! This told us very clearly that AGMs are really important and our artists want to be part of them.
  2. We all sat in a circle so everyone felt equal. We use circles a lot at OpenStoryTellers so this was about the board sitting in the way that our companies of artists are really familiar. (Although I ended up sitting on the floor quite a lot!)
  3. We used ‘objects of reference’ to help go through our annual report. ‘Objects of reference’ is a fancy way of describing using actual things for people to hold and pass round to help remember the work we we did many months ago. We bought our huge holly and ivy King puppets in and every immediately remembered the story we did for the Children’s Festive. Charlotte dressed up as a character in the story she did at the Bardic Chair that helped us reflect on that day. It worked really well.
  4. We all talked about the main money points. We didn’t go into a lot of detail but I explained how much money it costs to run OpenStoryTellers and where that money comes from. Some people were surprised at how much money it costs to do what we do!