AGMs and Handovers

How do you run an AGM and what does a committee handover involve?

How do you run an AGM and what does a committee handover involve?

AGMs, EGMs and Elections - what's the difference?
AGM (Annual General Meeting):
  • An end of year meeting to review your activity and summarise for members

  • Treasurer presents a financial report for the society

EGM (Extraordinary General Meeting):
  • Can be held any time during the year

  • Usually held for hustings for an election taking place mid-year

  • Can be used for society members to have their say/vote on other decisions


The voting process which takes place to officially choose new executive committee members for a society or student group. To find out more about elections, go here.

The society AGM should include: 

  • A review of the society’s finances 

  • At the end of your committee year you will need to complete the Society Financial Year Report, and this should be shared with all members at the AGM.  

  • A review of the society’s activities and achievements 

  • A hustings style event where candidates are asked questions on their manifestos

  • Any other business relating to the society  

How do you run an AGM?

Your society AGM is a chance for everyone in your society to review the year. During your AGM, you should:

  • Have a member of the committee (usually the President or Social Secretary) summarise the events which have happened during the year.
  • Have your Treasurer present a Financial Report of the year to show your members how you've spent their money.
  • Hold hustings for your new committee election, where candidates can talk about their manifesto and members have the opportunity to ask questions.
  • Include time for members to vote for your new committee.
Writing a financial report

The society/student group financial report should be reported to members at the society AGM. The purpose of the report is to show members how you've spent their membership over the academic year, in order to be accountable and transparent. You can download the template for the report here. Below is some guidance on how to complete the report.

Table A
  • Total number of members - Go to your society admin area on the website, select members and this will show you the number of memberships you have for the year.
  • Membership income – Take the number of members, multiply this by your membership fee. Then divide this number by 1.2 e.g. 100 members, £12 membership fee – 100 x £12 = £1200; £1200/1.2 = £1000 membership income
  • Sponsorship income – this can be calculated by totalling up all the sponsorship amounts you have secured. Make sure to double check the amounts, as the Gross figure will include VAT and the Net figure won’t. You’ll need to make sure you are totalling the Net figure for this – if you only have a Gross figure you can divide it by 1.2 to get the Net.
  • Donation Income – this is calculated by totalling up any amounts that have been donated to your society/group. If you can’t remember the figures you can check your society/group ledger and these will show up there!
  • Group fundraising – Any income your society/group has raised through fundraising efforts to support the running of your society/group. This can be anything from a cake sale to a crowdfunder
  • Legacy from previous year – You’ll be able to work this out from your society/group ledger. This will be the balance you were handed over from the previous committee
  • Total expenditure for this year – you’ll need to total the expenditure (debit) from the beginning of your term to current. This can be found on your ledger on the right-hand side.
  • Total income for this year – you’ll need to total up all income (credit) from the beginning of your term to current. This can be found on your ledger to the left of the expenditure column.
  • Legacy for next year – this will be the amount you are leaving for the next committee. This will be your current balance (unless there are any outstanding payments!). This can be found on your society/group ledger.
Table B
  • This table is for you to record the benefits your members will have received over the year. This can be anything from stash, to subsidised tickets, to career development or freebies. The number of members who benefitted will be equivalent to the number of members who bought stash, bought a subsidised ticket, attended a careers event and so on.
Table C
  • This section allows you to categorise the number of different types of events you’ve held over the year. You can calculate the number of each type of event by reviewing the events you’ve held and assigning them one of the above categories.
Table D
  • This table is for you to record any supplies or equipment your society has purchased using membership income. You’ll need to record what was purchased in the left-hand side and then the total cost for each on the right. This will then automatically total these costs for you on the template.
What does a committee handover involve?

Once your new committee are elected, it is essential to provide the incoming committee with a detailed and clear handover so that they can succeed in their roles and develop the society for the following year. Use the template provided in your society OneNote to write a handover document together with your new committee.

Immediate actions: 
  • Set a date for the handover - this will be after you’ve updated the Activities Team with the new committee following the committee election. This provides the new committee with a date to take over responsibility for the society.  

  • Prepare your handover: write everything important down in one place and try to meet up with the incoming committee (if not possible to do this in person, have a phone/Skype conversation). 

  • Make sure all the new committee complete the Student Committee Agreement, which will be sent out to each committee member automatically once the Activities Team has received their details and updated the system. If this is not done, they will lose their society admin access on the Guild website in term one of the new academic year. 

  • Check that the new committee are receiving the Activities Updates Emails for society and student group committee members as this will keep them up to date with important information regarding Freshers' Week. 

  • Point the new committee members towards the resources area for extra guidance on running the society. 

General Points for Handovers:
  • Make sure the new committee familiarise themselves with where the Activities Team are located (Ground floor of DH1) 

  • Make sure they know who their Societies Council representative is. These students are elected during Term 2 and exist to support student groups in all matters relating to their group and the Guild. 

  • Make sure they know how to use the administration page for their society on the Guild website! This is where they can submit events, email members and edit the society details.

  • Provide the new committee with the group email and social media passwords/permissions. 

  • Make sure they read up on how to apply for a Guild grant and remind them to keep an eye out for information regarding each term’s closing dates. 

  • Provide the new committee with a list of the group's aims and objectives so that they understand the purpose of the society and what it's members expectations are. 

  • Provide a review of the events held in the academic year, saying what went well, what didn't and what can be improved. Talk through the financial situation of the group, and advise on budgeting for different types of events. 

  • Ensure you have an up-to-date inventory of all the equipment your group owns, and where it's stored, to pass on. 

  • Pass over any specialist knowledge required for specific roles, or the committee as a whole. 

Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive and there are many points that you may want to talk with your incoming committee. Think about what you might have wanted to know when you took on your role! It is important however, that they complete the Student Committee Agreement (with basic training included) so that they can get started planning events!

Washing Up Your Year

To help you with your handover, it's a good idea to 'Wash Up' your year. Take a look back at what worked and what didn't work and help the new committee to set some goals or things to change for next year.

What were the aims of your events?

[Why did you hold them? What were you hoping to achieve? Any targets you were attempting to reach?]

Now you’ve identified what you intended to achieve, you can now reflect on how the event from planning to the event itself went. A really good tool to assess this is SWOT Analysis, which allows you to evaluate your event by identifying internal and external factors influencing the achievement of event aims, and identifying solutions to these.

Strengths [Internal]  Think about the attributes of your society which helped you achieve your aims. For example, skills and knowledge of team, social media following, collaborations, what is appealing about the society?

Weaknesses [Internal] Think about the attributes of your society which hindered you achieving your aims. For example, time management, contacts, lack of experience, a restricted budget, lack of funding?

Opportunities [External] Think about the external factors that helped you achieve your aims. Also think about improvement here, what is available to you to help make your event even better? For example, external support, access to resources. Use your strengths to identify where there is potential for further improvements.

Threats [External] – Think about the external factors that hindered you achieving your aims. This could be anything from other societies running similar events, weather, resource availability, loss of funding. Whilst you may not be able to prevent these, you can plan for these types of events to minimize the impact on your success.

To help frame your SWOT analysis, it is useful to consider the following questions:
What went well?

[List here the highlights, any achievements, positive feedback from attendees. Did you manage to engage your members? Look at engagement with social media posts and emails]

What didn’t go so well?

[What problem were encountered? Were they resolved? Were the solutions effective? Any feedback from attendees?]

What can be improved for next time?

[Did you use resources efficiently? What needs to be changed to make your event more of a success? What improvements/changes have attendees and those involved in the planning recommended?]

University of Exeter Students' Guild is a Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered Charity Number: 1136468 Company Number: 07217324; registered in England and Wales Registered office: Devonshire House, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4PZ