The company’s board of directors and its appointed committees carry out the supervision role of corporate governance. Through carefully organized, planned, and delegated committees, boards of directors carry out their advising and supervision duties while utilizing the collective knowledge of all of the directors. The composition and responsibilities of board committees are determined by the size of the business, the board, and the duties that have been assigned. Members of the committee discuss pertinent problems and submit recommendations for ultimate board approval. Board committees often work independently of one another and are given the necessary power, resources, and tasks to support the full board.
Efficacious Committee Work
A committee needs the following to function properly:
- A particular commission so that it is informed of its role, deadline, and authority restrictions
- A competent staff that can provide further support as needed
An effective chair or leader is one who:
- has a thorough understanding of the decision-making process;
- is skilled at guiding a group through that process;
- makes it possible for the committee to reach the best conclusions.
Members of the committee who are responsible and who:
- Invest the time and effort necessary to become knowledgeable about the issues; o Recognize how to contribute to a group’s search for conclusions;
- Recognize how to assist a group in assessing the sufficiency of the data at hand;
- Look for and assess alternative courses of action.
- Make informed judgments or recognize when more information is needed before a decision can be made.
Many standing committees, executive or steering committees, ad hoc committees, task forces, and working groups are how most boards are structured.
The board officers, the chairman of the standing committees, and other individuals as listed in the bylaws often make up the Executive Committee. Members may be appointed by the board chair or president, or they may be chosen by the full board.
Executive Committee’s Duties
The Executive Committee’s main job is to organize the board’s work and hold members accountable by setting the agenda and other rules for board decisions. The Executive Committee’s primary responsibility is to direct the company in between board meetings. In contrast to when a board is of a size that allows it to function and make decisions effectively when a board is very large, the Executive Committee frequently takes larger duties and makes a greater percentage of the policy choices.
A standing committee is one that is created on an ongoing basis. These committees conduct analyses of problems under their purview and offer suggestions to the board. A permanent committee also keeps track of and assesses how well the entire company performs with respect to its mandate. The following section is a list of the typical standing committees in nonprofit organizations.
The board treasurer chairs the finance committee, which has several responsibilities, including managing investments, monitoring and reporting on the agency’s financial operations and condition, and creating the budget. The CFO often sits on the finance committee, which has a number of members depending on the size and complexity of the organization’s finances.
Board Governance and Development
The selection, recruitment, orientation, training, and retention of board members are often overseen by the Board Development or Governance Group, which is frequently a permanent committee. The efficacy, competency, makeup, and ability of the board to steer the company into the future are all things that this committee strives to improve.
Development of Financial Resources and Fundraising
The development and implementation of the financial resource plan, which will direct the staff and board’s actions in seeking and obtaining financing from various sources, is done in close collaboration with the staff by a fundraising and financial resource development committee. Special event committees are frequently a division of the Committee on Fundraising and the Development of Financial Resources, and they frequently include non-board members on them. This committee could also take the initiative in discussing the best ways for the other board members to contribute to the fundraising campaign.
In order to create and implement a marketing/communications plan that clearly identifies the organization’s key audiences, the best ways to reach them, and the issues they care about the most, a marketing/communication committee collaborates closely with staff and other board committees. The committee keeps an eye on how the organization presents its brand and makes sure that its programs, services, and goods continue to be useful to the target market.
Ad Hoc Committees, Task Forces, and Working Groups
Additionally, the board has the authority to form ad hoc or special committees with predetermined objectives. Board members (and maybe non-board members) who volunteer for these working groups or who are appointed by the board president or chair make up these groupings. Typically, these organizations will fulfill their mandates and provide recommendations. Here are two examples:
To build and retain membership or widespread community participation, the Outreach/Membership Task Force develops and puts into action recruiting and retention activities. Depending on the requirements of the company, this committee may be a permanent or temporary group/task force. A membership task force can work on an annual membership drive for four months, celebrate its accomplishment, and then return the following year to repeat the process. Involving non-board volunteers in a worthwhile project with a beginning, middle, and finish is usually a smart idea.
When a company wishes to start a strategic planning process, it will form a Strategic Planning Task Force. The task group would be in charge of briefing the board and keeping the planning process on track. The strategic planning task force would cease, and a new Execution Task Force would be formed for this next stage since it is likely that a different group of individuals may oversee the implementation of a plan after it has been adopted.