How can you make sure your board members not only know what they should be doing, but that they take ownership of important tasks and keep things moving forward? Nonprofit board committees make it easy.
Your nonprofit board is made up of stellar individuals that are used to working independently and with a team. To make the most of a dynamic group of board members, you need to make sure everyone has clearly defined roles and responsibilities. If you do not, you run the risk of having too much insight in one area and not enough in others. You also increase the risk of conflict between board members and an overall drop in productivity for your organization’s driving force.
Committees allow the work that needs to be done to be distributed evenly throughout your board. This allows for the best allocation of talent and ensures that work gets done. When you break your goals and responsibilities down into more manageable pieces with a clear organizational structure, your board doesn’t have to get bogged down worrying about who is responsible for which task. For most nonprofit boards, committees provide the following benefits:
Each committee your board creates needs to have its own mission and reason for being. It should also have a defined set of responsibilities. Members should know what they can and can’t do, and whether they can make actual decisions on matters that fall into their subject area.
A committee should have a leader who can help guide the group, report to the board at large, and communicate needs and requests to the organization and staff. Committees should have easy access to key staff members that closely align with their responsibilities and subject area. This ensures that your nonprofit committees can build relationships with staff and know who to reach out to if information or assistance is needed.
Your board will have its own priorities and preferences for committees. The best way to create your roster of committees is to think about the primary tasks you have and the things you want to accomplish. Most nonprofit boards incorporate the following types of committees, tailored to match their own needs:
Creating clearly defined committees can help your board keep things moving forward by ensuring that everyone knows what they are responsible for and allowing your members to take ownership of important areas or tasks. Incorporating committees into your nonprofit board can have a profound and positive impact on your organization. More importantly, it will make it easier and more rewarding for your board members and the people you serve.
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