How to Prepare For and Run a People First Meeting

What you will need for each meeting:

1. Flyer – The flyer is very important. It tells people in your community about your meeting so they can come. You will need to decide who will make the flyer each month after the VISTA’s are gone. To make a new flyer you can copy the flyer from the last meeting (blank ones are in the People First sustainability binder and on the People First sustainability CD) and use it towards the new one. Add in new information (date, time, speaker, etc). Have People First members hand out and post the flyers around town each month two weeks before your meeting. When you enter an agency, ask someone if you can post the flyers at or leave copies with them. Places to post flyers are: local Regional Centers, the library, disability resource centers, grocery billboards – anywhere you think someone might see it. You can also email it to the People First members as a reminder and ask them to tell their friends!

2. Agenda – The agenda tells people what to expect during the meeting and will help you stay on topic and not forget anything. You will hand these out to all members at the beginning of each meeting. You will need to decide who will make the agenda each month after the VISTA’s are gone. To make a new agenda copy the agenda from the last meeting (blank ones are in the People First sustainability binder and on the People First sustainability CD) and add in the new information that you will be discussing, including the guest speakers name and topic.

3. Meeting Minutes – The minutes are a record of what you talked about at the meetings. They are very important in order to remain a non-profit organization. You must fill in the minutes after each meeting. The secretary is typically the one who does this. The secretary must keep a copy of all the minutes in a folder or binder. To make new minutes, copy a blank one from the last meeting (blank ones are in the People First sustainability binder and on the People First sustainability CD). Add in what you talked about, who was there, who the speaker was, how much you have in your account, the amount of dues collected and any decisions that were made.

4. Sign in sheets  – These will help you keep track of how many people attended the meetings. At the beginning of each meeting, pass out the sign in sheet and ask everyone to sign it. You will need to decide who will be responsible for making, giving out and collecting the sign in sheet for each meeting – the secretary might be a good person to do this. You will need to keep all the sign in sheets in a folder. To make a new sign in sheet, copy a blank one from the last meeting (blank ones are in the People First sustainability binder) or you can use a blank piece of paper. Just be sure to put the date of the meeting and your chapter name (Reno, Elko, etc.) at the top of each page.

5. Food – Before the meeting you will need to decide on what food you want to bring, how you will order it and who will pick it up. This is a good thing to put on the agenda to decide for your next meeting. At the meeting you can also ask others what they will be bringing for the next meeting.

6. Speaker or topic to discuss – Decide as a chapter what topic you want to discuss at your next meeting. Decide on who will be responsible for researching and contacting speakers that can come to the meeting and provide you with the information you need. When calling, say, “Hi, my name is …state your name…. I’m a member of People First of Nevada. People First of Nevada is a Self-Advocacy Group run by people with developmental differences throughout Nevada. As citizens of Nevada, we have the right to make our own decisions and to live self-determined lives. We would like to invite someone from your organization to come be a speaker at our next meeting to talk about ………..” If they agree thank them for their time and give them your contact information and the date, time and place of your next meeting. If they don’t want to do it, thank them for their time and ask if they know of someone else you can contact who might want to be a speaker.

**You can post meeting information on Facebook both before, reminding people about the meeting and after if you would like to share something important from your meeting.

**When answering the phone for People First say, “Hi, this is …state your name…. I’m from People First of Nevada, how may I help you?”

Preparing for the meeting:

1. Two weeks before the meeting make your flyers, print out about 20 copies and hand out about 5 flyers at each place in the community where you drop them off.

2. One week before the meeting, contact all members to remind them about the meeting and what they need to bring. It is especially important to contact the officers and make sure they are attending the meeting. Also, contact the speaker for that month to remind them about the meeting. 3. A day or two before the meeting, print out the agenda and sign in sheets. Make enough copies for everyone coming to the meeting. Go through supplies and make sure you have enough of everything.

Supplies you will need:

• Sign In Sheet • Agendas for everyone • Blank Minutes / Blank sheet for taking notes/tape recorder if the secretary needs one. • Extra pens • Cups • Napkins • Plates • Silverware • Straws • Camera (if needed) • Tablecloth (if needed) • Drinks / Soda / Water • Cooler and ice (if needed)

Holding the People First Monthly meeting:

1. Set aside a place to put the food

2. Place the plates, napkins, silverware, cups, straws, etc. by the food

3. Hand out the sign in sheet and ask everyone to sign it

4. Hand out the agenda and any other paperwork to everyone

5. Make sure the secretary or note-taker is prepared to begin.

6. President (or vice-president if the president can’t come) calls the meeting to order and introduces the guest speaker. Say, “Id like to introduce our guest speaker. This is (name of speaker) from (name of organization) and they are here to talk about (speaker topic)”

7. When the speaker is done, the president thanks the guest speaker for coming.

8. Eat

9. Review the rest of the items on the agenda (discuss any old business not completed at your last meeting, presidents report, treasurer report, etc.)

10. Decide on the food for the next meeting and who will be in charge of the food.

11. Decide on the topic for the next meeting and who will be in charge of contacting the speakers.

12. Remind everyone of the date/time of the next meeting

13. The president asks if there is any other business to discuss. If not, the president calls the meeting to an end.

14. Someone collects the sign in sheet and any other paperwork to keep in a folder.

15. Clean up. Make sure you leave the room as you found it. Everyone needs to participate in cleaning up.

After the meeting:

1. Make sure you contact the guest speaker and tell him or her thank you for attending the People First of Nevada meeting.

2. The secretary completes the minutes and keeps those in a binder or folder.

3. The Nevada Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities provides a grant for People First of Nevada that is maintained through the University of Nevada, Reno’s Center for Excellence in Disabilities. In order to continue getting grant money for People First, each chapter MUST turn in paperwork to Kari on a monthly basis so we can report that information to the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. – Email, fax or mail a copy of the flyer, minutes and agenda each month to:

Catherine Nielsen/ Self-Advocacy Coordinator/ NGCDD

Email: Cmnielsen@dhhs.nv.gov

Fax: 775-684-8626  Phone: 775-684-8622

Checklist for the meeting:

  1. Sign In Sheet ____
  2. Agendas for everyone _____
  3. Blank Minutes / Blank sheet for taking notes/tape recorder if the secretary needs one ____
  4. Extra pens ____
  5. Cups ____
  6. Napkins ____
  7. Plates ____
  8. Silverware ____
  9. Straws ____
  10. Camera (if needed) _____
  11. Tablecloth (if needed) ____
  12. Drinks / Soda / Water ____
  13. Cooler and ice (if needed)____
  14. Food ____
  15. Guest speaker/topic confirmed ____
  16. Other ______


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