Are you concerned that your Board does not work as effectively as possible? Do you find that your Board members are not as engaged as you would like them to be? If you answered yes to both of these questions, the establishment of board committees might be the answer to your problem!
1. What is the advantage of developing committees?
Establishment of board committees can accomplish the following:
a. It divides up the work of the organization so that it is not all placed on the shoulders of the Executive Director.
b. It removes lengthy discussions from the regular board meeting agendas, replacing them with committee recommendations to increase meeting efficiency.
c. It allows for broader participation from all board members, not just those who are most vocal or most engaged.
d. It ensures that the talents and knowledge of all board members are used in the best way possible.
2. What committees should be established?
Many Boards have the following committees:
a. An executive committee, consisting of the officers of the board, is charged with taking action, on behalf of the board, between meetings.
b. A finance/budget committee is charged with developing an annual budget, in conjunction with the Executive director, and reviewing investments.
c. A program/planning committee is charged with overseeing the organization’s activities and strategic direction.
d. A nominating committee is charged with recruiting new members, evaluating the performance of current members, and developing a slate of officers.
e. A development or fundraising committee is charged with developing fundraising efforts for the organization
f. Other committees can be established as appropriate for the organization.
3. How do the committees work?
For a committee to work effectively, consider the following:
a. Develop a charter for each committee that outlines its responsibilities, its authority, and a timeline of work.
b. Provide the committees with timely and appropriate information so that they can accomplish their work.
c. Choose the appropriate staff person to work with the committee, i.e. the finance director works with the finance/budget committee; the development officer works with the fundraising committee. If the organization has a small staff, the executive director may be the most appropriate liaison to all committees.
d. Identify a committee chair who understands how to lead a group and arrive at consensual decisions.
e. Select committee members whose experiences and skills will facilitate the work of the committee.
Are you working with board committees? What is working well for you? What would you do differently?