ABOUT THE AGENDA
by: Pat Reymann, Professional Reg. Parliamentarian
NCCW Leadership Training Development Team
Q. What goes on the Agenda?
A. A comprehensive agenda includes: Call to Order, Opening Exercises (God before Country=Prayer before the Pledge); Reading and Approval of the Minutes; Reports of Officers and Boards; Reports of Standing Committees (those listed in the Bylaws, probably the Commissions); Reports of Special Committees; Special Orders (if any); Unfinished (not old) Business and General Orders (if any); New Business; Good of the Order (aka Open Forum); Announcements; and Adjournment. Note the chronological progression from the last meeting (minutes) to what happened between meetings (reports) to what is happening now and into the future (new business).
Q: Who is responsible for making up the Agenda?
A: In theory, it is the Secretary; but in real life, it is the President who usually puts together the agenda. She may seek the assistance of the Secretary and she may ask the membership if they have any additions to the agenda. Not all the items listed in the previous question will need to appear on every agenda; but when they do, the order above is correct – unless your Standing Rules specify something different.
Q: How many copies of the agenda are needed for each meeting?
A: One for everybody in the room. Members have the sense that the meeting will be productive and orderly; they can follow along and notice when they have a report to give or other part to play in the meeting. An agenda helps to keep people on topic, especially when they see that there is a place to discuss their current concern.
Q: Does the Agenda need to be adopted at every meeting?
A: Not if you hold meetings at regular time intervals and have a customary format for them. Usually, the agenda needs to be adopted only when you hold a convention.