Humanist Canada is a not-for-profit educational organization that promotes Humanism, an ethical, secular life stance based on rational thought, a strong moral sense, compassion, fairness, and respect for all.

The Challenge

Like many other not-for-profit organizations, Humanist Canada is required by their charter to conduct an Annual General Meeting (AGM) to update their membership on the organization's financial health and other various activities. While this would traditionally be conducted through a live, in-person event, the COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding health guidelines forced Humanist Canada to conduct their 2020 AGM virtually.

After conducting their first virtual AGM independently with some success, Humanist Canada quickly recognized the benefits of conducting their AGM virtually, especially for an organization with members and board directors across Canada such as themselves.

With COVID-19 related public health guidelines still in effect and annual membership growth of over 150%, the Humanist Canada team was planning to once again conduct their AGM virtually, however, with the goal of increasing member participation and engagement becoming a top priority this time around.

After internal discussions and reviewing their previous virtual AGM, the Humanist Canada team determined that making enhancements to their meetings proxy voting would be the most effective way of increasing member participation while ensuring they achieve quorum and actionable data is collected in the process. In particular, they wanted to give their members the ability to either provide input or defer their proxy, including for critical areas such as their annual election of new board members.

With a clear understanding of what they required, the Humanist Canada team began their search for a solution that could meet their unique requirements and seamlessly facilitate the proxy distribution and collection process.

The Solution

Shortly after beginning their search for an electronic proxy voting tool, the Humanist Canada team came across GetQuorum.

Enticed by their solutions feature set and their full-service, end-to-end approach to electronic voting and proxies, the Humanist Canada team, decided to reach out to GetQuorum to learn more about the true capabilities of their electronic proxy voting solution.

Quickly after their initial encounter with the GetQuorum team, Humanist Canada knew that working with GetQuorum would be integral to achieving the desired increase in member participation and engagement they were hoping to see in their upcoming AGM.

On the product side, GetQuorum's voting platform was exactly what they were looking for; a secure and user-friendly platform that would efficiently facilitate the distribution and collection of proxies, making the proxy voting process seamless for both organizers and members as a result. And while pleased with the platform's capabilities and ease of use, what truly stood out for the Humanist Canada team was GetQuorum's full-service approach and the expertise that their team had demonstrated throughout their encounters.

During their initial encounter, the GetQuorum team attentively listened to the Humanist Canada team to get a clear understanding of their unique requirements and goals. They were then able to leverage this information to provide a detailed platform walkthrough that demonstrated the true capabilities of the platform and reassured the Humanist Canada team that their solution would be able to meet their unique requirements, such as; allowing users to show support for the board by naming their own proxies.

Moving ahead to the onboarding process, the GetQuorum team seamlessly guided the Humanist Canada team through the proxy ballot set up and used their experience to help assist in the logical and comprehensive execution of the proxy voting process to ensure seamless distribution and that the results collected would consist of the actionable data they desired.

With a clear understanding of the platform and processes, combined with the GetQuorum team readily available to assist them when needed, the Humanist Canada team was ready to distribute and collect proxies for their largest AGM to date.

The Result

Overall, the advanced proxy voting couldn't have gone better.

The distribution of the proxy ballots was smooth and efficient, with any minor issues being addressed in a matter of minutes. The user-friendly platform made submitting proxy ballots electronically simple for members' and resulted in over 45% of members submitting advance proxy votes, a significant increase from the historical average of 5%-10% seen in prior AGMs.

Not only did this significant increase in proxy submissions mean that quorum had been achieved well in advance of the meeting but, it also meant that Humanist Canada had vital information from nearly 50% of their members ahead of the meeting.

Once the advance proxy voting period had concluded, Humanist Canada received a detailed report that provided them with the detailed voting results and this vital information, allowing them to proceed with the key business at their AGM.

Looking ahead, Humanist Canada anticipates that they will continue to use GetQuorum's services in their future Annual General Meetings.

"The simplicity and effectiveness of GetQuorum's services are viewed as a significant contributing factor in the increased membership participation seen during their Annual General Meeting and is something that we would like to see in future meetings indefinitely,” said Ric Glowienka, Chair, Nominations and Elections Committee, Humanist Canada.

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