Have More Effective Meetings

Group meetings serve two purposes: to get members involved and to educate members. And they should be fun. Give students a reason to want to come to your group meetings.

1. Schedule regular weekly (or bi-weekly) meetings. Talk with the other leaders of your group to determine the best day, time, and location for regular weekly meetings. Be consistent throughout the year and always hold your meetings at the same time and place. After setting the day, time, and location, announce it to all your members through your email list and Facebook group. Mention the regular meetings when you recruit new students for your group and have the meeting details on your recruitment fliers. Call and email the day before to remind people.

2. Write up an agenda for the meeting. You should have a plan for the year to work off of in preparing for the meeting. If not, check out the SFLA “How to Plan Your Year” guide. The agenda should be written in the order that the meeting will be run. Have the announcements listed first. These announcements will include information on upcoming pro-life events in the community and updates on the group’s own status. For example, if the group had an event, how did it go? Were there any problems? Has there been any feedback? The second part of the agenda should be a list of your upcoming events with a brief explanation of each and a report on the progress. Bring copies to pass out at the meeting. Follow that with a discussion on an aspect of the pro-life movement, or a current news item to keep members informed of what is going on and how they can be better abortion abolitionists.

3. Start with introductions and announcements. Introduce yourself and the other officers, then ask the new people to introduce themselves. Pass out the agendas. The secretary of the group should pass around a sign-in sheet and take notes. Go through the announcements in the order that they are listed in the agenda. Discuss each one briefly and plan for any action that should be taken on them. For example, if one of the announcements is that a local county right to life group needs volunteers for their upcoming fundraiser dinner, assign somebody to sign up volunteers and organize a carpool from campus.

4. Discuss plans for upcoming events. If you already have an event in the works, get updates from everyone on their progress for the work they are doing for it. Make sure to involve the new people right away. Ask them to help and give them specific jobs. For example, if you have a few people in charge of publicizing an upcoming event and they are planning to flier the campus for two days in the upcoming week, ask the new members to help with that. If there is not yet an event or activity in the works, discuss a few different ideas and choose one. Assign everyone an active role in making the event happen. Set a tentative date and then break up the work for the event to get started on it right away.

5. Follow-up and prepare for the next meeting. The secretary should email out the notes from the meeting, including a list of what each person is responsible for. Call the new members during the week to tell them more about the group and get to know them better. Ask for their ideas and input.

Sample Documents: