What is a quorum?
A quorum is the minimum number of people entitled to attend and vote who must be present at your meeting to make valid decisions at that meeting. The people may be:
- trustees at a committee meeting
- members at a general meeting
Quorums are individual to each charity and the provision for your charity will be contained within your governing document.
If your meeting does not have a quorum, you and the trustees cannot make any decisions. Your governing document may say whether the quorum must be maintained throughout the meeting for the effective transaction of business, or whether it is sufficient that a quorum be present at the start of the meeting.
We recommend that the quorum is maintained throughout the meeting so as to ensure that each item of business is considered by an adequately representative group of people.
The quorum should be set with care:
- if it is too high, any absences may make it difficult to have a valid meeting
- if it is too low, a small minority may be able to impose its views unreasonably
We recommend that:
- the quorum for a trustees' meeting is a minimum of one-third of the total number of charity trustees plus one, eg 10 charity trustees will have a quorum of four
- for general meetings, you should give careful thought to the quorum - it needs to be appropriate to the size of the organisation and the number of members
If the trustee body or the membership fall below the number required to conduct meetings, we may have to make an Order. The Order permits the trustees or members to hold an inquorate meeting to appoint additional representatives.