In addition to an annual meeting (a short trustee meeting which may be required by the County Constitution or for charities) and an annual report (which may be required for charities if their income reaches a certain level), Counties/Islands may decide to produce an annual review document, video, or hold an event to review the year. This is completely optional, but can be a beneficial way to promote local guiding, especially if done in an imaginative and lively way.
It is important to decide first on the purpose of the annual review.
- Is it to showcase activities and impact to an external audience, such as possible future volunteers or donors?
- Is it to share good practice among members of the County?
- Is it to recognise and thank those within the organisation?
- Is it to provide a small token for Leaders (such as a calendar)?
It is unlikely that any one event would be able to achieve all these, so you may wish to consider something different for each purpose or audience.
General points to consider for any annual review.
- What is your budget?
- Is your proposal good value for money, and will it meet your objectives?
- If it will be a printed document, how will it be distributed?
- How can you ensure young members’ voices are included in the review, whatever the format?
If showcasing activities to an external audience, a web page, online video, or bright leaflet with key facts you should ensure you use Girlguiding’s branding guidelines and key messages.
- Be sure to show photos of young members enjoying the breadth of activities we offer, with short paragraphs of text.
- Do not use guiding jargon for an external audience. It is difficult for non-members to understand and can dilute the message.
- If for recruitment, provide short descriptive articles on each section, but also provide details of other volunteer opportunities, with realistic time estimates for each role.
- If you are looking for more volunteers or donors, say so, and provide contact details of someone who will be expecting calls, and is confident in how to respond professionally and efficiently.
- There is no need to provide formal reports from your Trustee’s annual meeting, or annual accounts.
- Include details of the County membership numbers, if aimed at potential funders, to show your reach.
If an event, and for an external audience, consider;
- What’s in it for them? Why should they spend the time with you?
- What day of the week is best?
- What is the right venue for this event, and how big is your audience to be?
- Are refreshments needed, and if so, what?
- What will be an interesting format for what you want to achieve?
- Who will host your guests? Brief them beforehand on who you have invited and for what purpose.
- What is the right mix of internal and external guests, and how will you cater for both?
- Do a risk assessment, and agree a minimum number for the event in case fewer guests are able to attend than hoped and it may need to be cancelled.
If the event or document is for a Girlguiding audience, think about what will achieve your aims the best.
- What will appeal to volunteers to ensure a good attendance?
- Again, there is no need to provide formal reports from your Trustee’s annual meeting, or annual accounts, but you could offer to make these available on request.
- Be sure that the content promotes good practice.
- Consider if the content is best placed in an event/document, or at a different event, for example in a newsletter or on the web site
- If using an event for thanks and recognition also, check and double check that names are correctly spelt and no-one has been missed.
Be sure to evaluate the event afterwards to check that it met your objectives, and whether it is something you wish to repeat in a similar or different way on a future occasion.