Following our launch event on 11 May we have continued to discuss the way forward for Web Matters on our Slack channel.
Yesterday an interim committee (Charlie, Heather, and Orde) met up to plan an event to take that discussion forward in a public space.
What we need to do: the AGM
Our next steps can be divided into two halves: the legal part, and the vision part.
The first part is the somewhat boring matter of the legal aspects of setting up as an organisation. We need to set up a company as a legal entity, and we also need to set up a bank account.
That means ticking all the boxes the law requires on our constitution and articles of association. Some of this is a matter for our helpful lawyer, and some of this is a matter for public discussion.
That public discussion needs to take the form of a public meeting known as an AGM (annual general meeting). That event would be the official start of our organisation in the paperwork sense.
There are many boxes to tick at that AGM. For example, we need directors as well as signatories on the bank account. At the minimum we need a Chair, a Treasurer, and a Secretary.
Given the goals of the organisation, we may want to appoint other officers such as a Membership Secretary or a Policy Officer. This is entirely up to the membership.
Speaking of which, we need members – and in the legal sense, those are individuals who pay dues to be a part of the organisation. We discussed what those membership fees would be, and at the moment, the figure is £20. That fee, of course, will be discussed at the AGM.
(All membership dues will be used for the expenses of the organisation. For now, nobody is being paid, and everyone is giving their time and efforts voluntarily. Many months or years down the road, as the organisation grows and its voice becomes more prominent, it may be entirely fitting to compensate postholders for their labour. But that, again, is down to the membership.)
What we need to do: the pre-AGM
The AGM will formalise the goals of the organisation on paper. But what are those goals?
That’s where you come in.
In advance of the legally required AGM, we are planning to host a pre-AGM even to formalise Web Matters’ vision. Like our launch event, this will be an open and friendly discussion.
At this meeting we will discuss
- Our general goals as an organisation
- What we will do and how we will do it
- Our manifesto and working values
- How we will measure our efficacy
- What successes we might aim to achieve
- How local branches will work
- What membership will involve
- What we will charge for membership
- Who will do the day-to-day work of actually running Web Matters
- Our constitution and legal registration
The things we agree to formalise in our pre-AGM meeting will then inform the details that go into the formal AGM.
We plan to host the pre-AGM in Edinburgh on Wednesday 28 June at 6 PM, at the Melting Pot, Rose Street.
As with our launch event, we will look into live streaming for those who can’t make it in person.
We hope you can join us (in both senses of the term!)
Until then, keep the dialogue going in our Slack channel.