How to increase proxy participation in shareholder elections
What you need to know:
- Proxy votes plays a vital role in shareholder engagement.
- Educating shareholders on the importance of voting by proxy is a great alternative to in-person voting and is environmentally friendly.
- Offering multiple voting options can increase voter participation.
Shareholder participation is on the rise, particularly when it comes to a focus on diversity and climate/sustainability issues. But for the “average” organization without a news-worthy resolution in play, how do you increase proxy participation in shareholder elections?
When someone invests in a company, they receive proxy statements electronically or by mail, but too often those are ignored. Why? Many investors don’t truly understand the basics such as who the organization’s board of directors are, how they operate, what the shareholder resolutions are and why their vote is important.
For any organization interested in increasing proxy participation, educating shareholders is the first step. Make an effort to explain the essentials: Even if you can’t attend a meeting in person, shareholders are entitled to vote by proxy on resolutions and issues that can affect an organization’s bottom line.
Many people, particularly younger investors, are eager to ensure their investments have a positive impact on society and the environment. Doing a bit of research and casting proxy votes can truly make a difference.
Shareholders receive information, often a lot of documents, operations, financial data, organizational issues and more. If your organization is required to utilize a specific format (often referred to as “legalese”) you can also simplify the message. Including plain language explanations can not only get shareholders to pay attention, but also to take action.
When it comes to casting a proxy, offering multiple easy-to-use voting options is key increasing voter participation. Financial institutions can still offer in-person voting and mail-in proxies, if desired, but you can also implement a simple, secure online option. Giving members the opportunity to vote online if they’d like, is a foolproof way to make voting more convenient and increase election participation.
One of the most effective ways to increase proxy participation is to make it quick and easy for shareholders. Allowing for secure, official digital voting allows a greater number of people to participate and makes it easy for them to do so.
Bottom line: Providing shareholders the option to vote online increases their participation in elections. Online voting does not have to replace the current process, but can be offered as an attractive additional option.
SBS has more than 30 years of experience running elections and increasing proxy participations for financial institutions, mutual insurance companies and more. As a trusted, third-party elections partner, our security is the highest level, our technology is unmatched and our customer service is sterling.
We streamline accessibility and help you ensure your elections are conducted under the correct and most secure conditions. We are committed to matching your organization with the proxy voting services you need to increase participation and protect what you’ve built.
Interested in learning more about the keys to increasing proxy participation in your shareholder elections? Wondering if offering an online voting option is a possibility and how it might affect your organization? Contact us any time, we’re here to help.