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Continuum of Care Members – Tips for Stronger Meeting Agendas

The Continuum of Care (CoC) Agenda is a tool that supports or hinders progress being made by boards and workgroups seeking to reduce homelessness.  Poorly designed agenda’s affect a group’s ability to make positive change because when they lack cohesiveness, they leave members in the dark about how best to contribute.

When done well, agendas are a powerful tool to support clear actions being recommended and carried out by those serving on committees.

As an enhancement to the agendas you are already using, I recommend committee members request the following from their committee’s leadership:

Agenda Development

Clarify who, how and when the agenda is created.  Be sure that interested members have input into the planning of the meeting.  Understand the agenda creation process by reviewing the CoC Charter or requesting clarification during a public meeting. If the process is clarified publicly, but has not been documented, suggest it be revised during your CoC’s annual Charter review.

Agenda Items

Consider how the items on the agenda keep CoC’s strategies moving forward or pull them off track.  Ask that your CoC’s agenda include consistent reporting on the progress of your CoC’s key priorities.  Regular quarterly updates provide a foreseeable opportunity to check progress and may help you prioritize your attendance when your schedule is full.

Agenda Logistics

If you are a member of numerous committee email lists but find you are missing some of the announcements, find out where the schedules are posted online.  If the site offers notifiers, set them for any changes being made to that page. Clarify with the group that the online meeting information is kept current.

Help members be clear about how they can contribute by incorporating these elements into every agenda:

  • Committee Name
  • Committee Purpose or Intent
  • Future meeting dates and locations
  • Contact Name, number and email (for more information)

Well-designed agendas support creative problem solving and motivate committee members to take action and monitor results. Keeping agendas focused in a strategic direction will help CoC members sharpen their knowledge of the issues and provide encouragement to make a more useful contributions towards the achievement of goals.

If your group is looking to revise it’s current format check out this helpful article on designing effective agendas.