The final article in our series (see previous articles below) on trustee elections has a look at how effective they can be, under any circumstances.
One of our longstanding clients let us know during hard lockdown that they had a 90-day deadline to conduct a trustee election.
Due to the limitations of lockdown and the fact that not all Fund members had access to email and/or online platforms, it was decided to follow a multi-pronged approach.
Members would be given the option to nominate and vote online, via SMS, or via hard copy, which they could photograph and return (we have dedicated email and WhatsApp lines for this).
This proved to be a successful approach and the following results were achieved:
A total of 89 valid nominations were received.
A total of 391 members submitted valid ballots.
A total of 8% of members participated in the election.
Given the extenuating circumstances as a result of lockdown and exceedingly tight deadlines, this was an excellent participation rate.
Although funds usually target at least 10% member participation, the standard timelines for preparation, nominations, auditing, and elections were reduced by an average of 50%.
Feedback from client
‘From my side, I really must commend you for how you have handled the elections. I think you have done a truly fantastic job! I am very glad with the number of nominations and votes received.’ ~ Fund’s benefit and investment consultant
‘Excellent… Thank you for all of your hard work. This is a lot of votes compared to our last Trustee election exercise.’
~ Principal Officer of the Fund
With the popularity of Smartphones, electronic elections can improve participation rates, even if your membership is not computer-based.