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Committee Management: Roles & Responsibilities for Successful Leadership

Committee management benefits the function of the committee and the board as a whole. Well-managed committees are informed of meeting agendas well in advance so that they come prepared to the meeting, having read the previous meeting’s minutes, and are ready to discuss the agenda items. They also remain focused and on-task for the duration of the meeting. Providing committee members with the support and solutions they need to enable this preparedness level takes intentional planning and structure. 

Committee management can happen in a variety of ways. One of the most common solutions is a paper and electronic communication combo. Paper agendas are mailed out prior to the meeting, are available on-sight, and the committee is reminded of the time, date, and agenda via email. While this enhances communication, this approach also places a lot of burden on the committee member to keep track of pertinent information. Papers are frequently misplaced, and emails can also get lost in inboxes full of other information. 

Many boards and committees are attempting to take their committee management strategy fully digital, especially in the wake of COVID-19. However, this strategy can also be cumbersome and difficult to navigate. This is especially true if the information is housed in many digital sources like email, cloud services, etc. It can lead to unprepared committee members and unproductive meetings.

You’re not alone if you’re wondering how to set up a committee structure. Many existing board committees, executives, and administrators are looking for a solution to set their committees up for success and advance their mission. 

Board committees can be composed of all sorts of individuals, each with varying strengths and bandwidth for participation. Not every committee is a great fit for every board member. When determining a committee structure or assigning/volunteering for a committee, one should ask themselves what are typical board committees responsible for. 

Types Of Management Committee

What are the 4 types of committees? Although individual committees have many different names, there are four different types of board committees in general:

  • An ad hoc committee is usually temporary and created for a very specific purpose. For instance, decorating or bake sale committees are common examples of ad hoc committees. These are short-term opportunities, however, they are very common and still important.
  • A constitutional committee is meant to advise the board of directors on issues related to the policies and procedures of an organization, as well as other ‘constitutional’ issues otherwise known as governance. 
  • An advisory committee is comprised of individuals who bring their expertise on a specific topic and advise the board based on their experience.
  • A joint committee may include members of the community or members of a board in a different organization that have come together for a common purpose or to advance a relationship.

Although there may be many different names for types of board committees in corporate governance and types of committees in nonprofit organizations, all committees fall into one type from the above categories. Types of management committees could be constitutional or advisory, however, it is likely to vary from board to board. 

Management Committee Roles And Responsibilities

You might be wondering what the role of a committee in an organization is. Management committees are responsible for deciding how an organization is operated as a whole. This is also why management committee meetings are important. The actual meaning of the verbiage “management committee” varies somewhat. Management committees can often work directly with the staff or CEO of an organization. Sometimes, what we recognize as a Board of Directors is simply another name for a management committee. 

Management committee members and management committee roles and responsibilities are vast. It can be helpful to develop a document of working committee roles and responsibilities if they tend to evolve and shift over time. There are many different types of committee members. 

Looking at the roles and responsibilities of committee members pdf can also help get a better understanding of different roles and how to document them. Documenting the roles and responsibilities of committee members can provide clarity for everyone involved and gives the committee a quick point of reference when trying to assign tasks. This is especially true when a management committee doubles as a trustee board or a Board of Directors. If the management committee PDF is the golden standard for how a board should be governed, it may even be a legal requirement for these roles and responsibilities to be spelled out.

Common management committee roles and responsibilities may look like this: 

  • Organizing board responsibilities as a whole
  • Creating organizational reports to determine priority
  • Upholding the overall values of an organization and remaining focused on the mission
  • Managing other aspects of the board, such as board operations and other committee functions

Role And Responsibilities Of Committee Members

The role and responsibilities of committee members can vary by committee. It is usually dependent on the committee’s role within the organization. For example, the planning committee roles and responsibilities would likely be different from the budget committee’s roles and responsibilities. It can be beneficial to create a “Roles & Responsibilities of Committee Members” pdf to help keep everyone on track. 

In general, here are a few common roles of members in a meeting:

  • Read and understand the agenda. The agenda is what determines the course of a meeting and is often crafted with the intention of priority and what time allows.
  • Take action on agenda items. Committees are created to accomplish tasks. It is the responsibility of committee members to read the agenda, understand it, make motions, and then follow through with the resolutions of their actions. 
  • Appointing new committee members. It is common for committee members to serve “terms” and have a term limit. It’s important to always have new committee members in place to preserve the committee’s purpose.
  • Support the action and efforts of the committee overall. As previously stated, the committee exists for a reason. It is the responsibility of that committee to oversee and advance the organization’s overall mission.

A recurring question about committee membership is about the legal responsibilities of committee members. Every committee member and board must understand the local, state, and federal laws surrounding board responsibilities regarding their type of organization. In the case of all organizations, particularly those that maintain non-profit status, all tax filings must be completed fully and turned in on time. You may lose your status if you do not renew your organization’s tax-exempt status with an IRS Form 990. For-profit boards should also understand the legal consequences associated with overpaying or underpaying staff, supporting political causes with organizational funds, and the misuse of organizational funds in general.

Management Committee Vs Executive Committee

What are the differences between a management committee and an executive committee? There can appear to be quite a bit of overlap between the two. In the simplest definition, the role of an executive committee meeting is to function in the absence of the full board. Sometimes it is not always possible for a full board to gather and make decisions as a consensus. Instead, a list of executive committee members is gathered to act on behalf of the board.

Each board can choose to do this differently, but a common executive committee structure is commonly composed of the following executive committee positions: 

  • Chairperson
  • Vice Chairperson
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer

Executive committee member roles are unique – there is only one president, vice president, etc. The management committee reports to the executive committee, even if there is some overlap in membership. This is why having a management committee charter, and a list of executive members is so important. Having clearly defined expectations and responsibilities for the different committees is key to limiting confusion between board members, many of whom volunteer on top of having additional community responsibilities. 

Common nonprofit executive committee roles and responsibilities are about determining the CEO’s compensation, approving the organization’s budget, and acting in representation of the full board. The roles are also about upholding the organization’s mission and values. Executive committees also usually take care of legal compliance issues, for example, reviewing an organization’s audit or ensuring that all IRS paperwork is properly filed. 

Committee Management Software

Keeping track of various roles and responsibilities, multiple agendas, minutes, and other board paperwork can be difficult. We understand that the best board portals should keep your team connected and focused, all while being scalable and easy to use. 

Some of the functionalities of Boardable include the Agenda Builder, Meeting Scheduler, and Minutes Maker. Our AI-enabled tools can assist in the high-effort tasks of crafting agendas and recording minutes, saving valuable time. These tools are used heavily in many industries that Boardable serves, including government, healthcare, real estate, technology, and nonprofit.

Our goal at Boardable is to increase board and committee engagement by giving them the power and capacity to get more done. We offer easy-to-use tools, and our solution is ready to use right out of its digital box. We also offer a free plan for those who’d like a taste of what it’s like to save time, energy, and resources. 

Solutions for
Board Members

We know that what happens after a meeting is also critical. Keep post-meeting momentum going with a centralized hub your team can access before, during, and after meetings to promote autonomy and collaboration.


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