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Committees The Advisory Group’s Workshop. Vital to effective, efficient, productive, organized action in a democratic society. Committee Definitions.

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Committees the advisory group s workshop

CommitteesThe Advisory Group’s Workshop

Vital to effective, efficient, productive, organized action in a democratic society

Committees the advisory group s workshop

Committee Definitions

com·mit·tee : k&-'mi-tE, sense 1 also "kä-mi-'tE noun 1: a body of persons delegated to consider, investigate, take action on, or report on some matter;

com·mit·tee : k&-'mi-tE, sense 1 also "kä-mi-'tE noun 1: a meeting where they keep minutes and waste hours

Why do people join these groups
Why Do People Join These Groups

  • to help others

  • to give back to the community

  • to meet new people

  • to fill a personal void

  • because it is a tradition

  • to learn new skills

  • the ability to influence others

    Volunteer Management 101 John Lipp

Important contributions of committees
Important Contributions of Committees

  • Able to do a lot of work with efficiency

  • Individuals can be engaged in areas where they are most interested and skilled

  • Individuals can enhance leadership skills

  • Individual efforts are multiplied by others

  • Wider participation of members and non-members

  • Committees as a whole have wider contacts as opposed to one or two individuals

Advantages of working with committees over a general group
Advantages of Working with Committees Over a General Group

  • Smaller numbers enhance participation

  • Informality can be increased

  • Individual interest can be channeled

  • Delicate subjects can be handled better

  • Scheduling can be more flexible

  • Involving just the optimum number can enhance efficiency and effectiveness

Types of committees
Types of Committees

  • Standing Committees

  • Special Committees

  • Extension Program Committees

Standing committees
Standing Committees

  • Handle a specific part of the regular on-going work of the organization

  • Usually denoted in the organizational by-laws

  • Examples—Executive, Nominating, Membership (Council/Board Development), Budget/Finance, Public Relations, etc.

Special committees
Special Committees

  • Ad Hoc, temporary

  • Functions until its specific assigned task is accomplished– one meeting to even years

Extension program committees
Extension Program Committees

  • C-MAP

  • Task forces

  • Educational activities

Requirements for good committees
Requirements for Good Committees

Key Characteristics

  • Small group

  • Complementary skills

  • Clear common purpose

  • Mutual accountability

  • Trust and strong relationships

  • Open communication

  • Flexibility

  • Recognition and Appreciation

Useful criteria for structuring committees
Useful Criteria for Structuring Committees

  • Size

  • Staffing

  • Membership

  • Duration

  • Purpose--mission, charge, task

  • Chairs

Committee chair job description
Committee Chair Job Description

  • Facilitates Committee Work

    -plans and leads meetings

    -assigns tasks to committee members

    -monitors progress and communicates with staff and council chair

    -resolves conflicts among committee

    -arranges for evaluation (periodic and final)

    Communicates with the General Group

    -liaison with group chair, staff, and full board

    -committee reports

Questions to ask about each committee
Questions to Ask about Each Committee

  • How does this relate to the organization's mission, strategy, and priorities? Purpose?

  • How will this benefit the overall group/council?

  • Who will this group report to? How?

  • Who is going to act on and implement its decision?

  • Could just one or two persons do this better? Is it the job for advisory members or staff?

  • Is this an ongoing concern? When will it be dissolved?

  • What will be their measures of success?

Why committees stumble
Why Committees Stumble

  • Imbalance or concentration of power

  • Lack of accountability

  • Unclear definition and understanding of roles

  • Lack of focus on the critical issues

“Before we begin, let us take a moment to reflect upon our hidden agenda.”

Committee do s don ts
Committee Do’s & Don’ts


  • Be careful choosing members

  • Be sure the purpose and expected outcomes are clear to all

  • Distribute committee assignments evenly across the general group/council

  • Get general group approval for appointments

  • Write meaningful committee minutes

  • Recognize achievements of all

Committee do s don ts1
Committee Do’s & Don’ts


  • Duplicate work of general group or other committees

  • Create committees that are too large to be effective

  • Treat non-council members as outsiders

  • Hold committee meetings right before the council meeting

  • Extend the life of the committee beyond its usefulness


-BoardSource (formerly National Center for Nonprofit Boards,

-Nonprofit Leadership Initiative at the University of Kentucky,,, (859) 257-2542

-Kentucky Advisory Council System web site,, Ralph Prince, (270) 365-7541 Ext. 220,