Board & Committee Training

What will make our Committees the best they can be?

123 Up And Adam, Inc is very new and we need the help of all our volunteers to create an organization that will accomplish its mission. We don’t want to stop there so we need the help of Committees. These Committees will help the organization with its vision it will help the organization define issues and resolve complex problems and much more.  

The committee will adopt a Structure that has a clearly defined purpose, a chairperson will help things keep on track and help the committee accomplish its goals. All of the activities of the organization will be headed by our president and board of directors, with purpose and mandate but without our committees, the organization’s activities would have no direction, no meaning.

Signs of a well functioning Committee 

  • The committee’s purpose will be clear.
  • The committees shall be aware of time control: length of meetings.
  • Good communication among all members.
  • An informal relaxed atmosphere.
  • Good preparation on part of the chair and members.
  • Committed members.
  • Minutes are complete and concise.
  • A committee’s performance assessment done periodically 
  • Recognition and appreciation of members.
  • The work makes a contribution to our organization.

What committees shall 123 Up And Adam, Inc have?

Much of the decision-making work will be managed through our committees tMost boards have committees because smaller groups can work more efficiently and less formally. The number of committees at this time is one. As 123 Up And Adam, Inc grows it will be wise to increase the committees  individual workloads need to be kept manageable. The Committees will be helpful when building teamwork. They will require more administrative management but we are up to it. 

What is a committee to do?

The role of the committee will be to prepare recommendations for the board, to decide that a matter does or doesn’t need to be addressed by the full board, to advise staff. Projects like, a detailed review of the cash flow situation may take place on the Finance Committee, which then recommends to the board that a line of credit be established. Although the full board is responsible for the decision they make, board members rely on the diligence and thoughtfulness of the Finance Committee in making the recommendation. In another example, the fundraising committee will develop a fundraising strategy which is brought to the board for approval. Anyone on the board can object, and the board can still reject the plan or ask the committee to revise it. 

Who will serve on the  committees?

123 Up And Adam, Inc committees have both board members and non-board members. Having non-board members on committees invites specialized expertise, from people who may not have time to serve on the board

Different Committees 

Fundraising Committee

The Fundraising Committee’s job is to be responsible for overseeing the organization’s overall fundraising and, in particular, the fundraising done by the board. To accomplish this, its responsibilities are:

  • To establish a fundraising plan that may include special events, direct mail, product sales
  • To work with fundraising staff in their efforts to raise money
  • To take the lead in certain types of outreach efforts, such as chairing a dinner/dance committee or hosting fundraising parties
  • To be responsible for involvement of all board members in fundraising, such as having board members make telephone calls to ask for support
  • To monitor fundraising efforts to be sure that ethical practices are in place, and donors are acknowledged appropriately, and that fundraising efforts are cost-effective.

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee /Budget Committee tasks are:

  • To review budgets to help develop appropriate procedures for budget preparations (such as meaningful involvement by program directors), and on a consistency between the budget and the organization’s plans
  • To report to the board any financial irregularities, concerns, opportunities
  • To recommend financial guidelines to the board 
  • To design financial reports and ensure that reports are accurate and timely
  • To oversee short and long-term investments
  • To advise the President and other appropriate staff on financial priorities and information systems.

Board Development Committee

The Board Development Committee sometimes called the Nominating Committee is responsible for all of the following responsibilities:

  • To prepare priorities for board composition
  • To meet with prospective board members and recommend candidates to the board
  • To recommend a slate of officers to the board
  • To conduct orientation sessions for new board members 
  • To suggest new, non-board individuals for committee membership
  • To oversee new program development, and to monitor and assess existing programs
  • To initiate and guide program evaluations, and
  • To facilitate discussions about program priorities for the agency.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee will meet more frequently than the full board it will be comprised of the board officers and the other committee chairsCommittee.

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee will interview auditors, review bids, recommend selection of an auditor to the board, receiving the auditor’s report, meeting with the auditor, and responding to the auditor’s recommendations. The annual audit is the time for the review of the organization’s financial systems by an independent outsider, the auditor’s report will be an important mechanism for the board to obtain independent information about 123 Up And Adam’s activities. 

Personnel Committee

The functions of the Personnel Committee include drafting personnel policies for board approval, reviewing job descriptions, establishing a salary structure, and annually reviewing staff salaries, and reviewing the benefits package.  The committee will also act as a grievance board for  volunteer / staff complaints. The committee will act only on formal written grievances against the executive director or when a staff formally appeals a decision by the president to the board.

Temporary committees

  • Site Committee: To evaluate the existing location, review a new lease, or to weigh the feasibility of purchasing a building
  • Special Event Committee: Like, an annual dinner
  • Planning Committee: To lead a strategic planning endeavor ( 123 Up And Adam, Inc strategic planning committee is a permanent committee. 
  • Special Issue Committee: To investigate an unusual problem or opportunity, like, negative publicity in the media, deep staff resentment against the president, an unusual grant opportunity or a possible joint project with another organization.

Meeting agenda

Formal meetings must have agendas, the agenda helps the meeting leader, as well as the others attending. Make sure everyone has a copy of the agenda well before the meeting. In the agenda, there will be a list of topics and this will help you consider how you will conduct the meeting. Everyone must have a chance to submit items for discussion this will lessen the chances that the meeting will go off course. Every item needs to be given a time frame so that everyone knows the approximate time the meeting will end. 

Let them know the purpose of meeting

Open meeting with a statement for the purpose of the meeting, use words like discuss, inform, decide, consider, ask your opinion, Let the committee or board what the objective of the meeting is. Issues that require serious discussion or decisions will need to be at the beginning of the agenda. When the major items have been dealt with, tell the meeting how much ( or how little ) time is left and invite routine reports, etc. Stop the meeting at the scheduled time, and even if you haven’t covered everything, the items not discussed will be the least important ones. As the leader, you must keep everyone on track and the meeting moving along. If the discussion starts to get off track interrupt with a reference to the specific point under discussion and sum up what has been agreed. You can then continue on the same track or decide to move on to the next point.

Make sure that the secretary or replacement takes notes ( Recording the meeting is also beneficial ) ask someone in the group to do so. This doesn’t mean you must write up formal minutes of every meeting. What you need is a brief record of what was discussed, what was agreed and – most importantly – actions that are to be taken by individuals.

The notes shall be typed and distributed to all attendees as soon as possible. 

Criteria for Structuring Committees 

Size:  Each committee shall be large enough that the work can be accomplished and everyone will participate. Each board committee should have at least three board members.

Staffing: Each committee may utilize outside help if necessary 

Membership: Ideally, every board member will be prepared to serve on at least one committee. Committees can also have non-board members as participants. Involving non-board members expands the expertise and volunteer time, and it allows for participation by people who are not prepared to take on full board responsibilities. Committees are a good testing and training ground for potential board members.

Duration: Committees may either be standing (permanent) or ad hoc (temporary). 

Charges: Each group should have a specific charge (task, purpose, commission), as well as a time frame for completing that task.  job descriptions for members and chairs shall be included.

Role of Chair and Committee Members

  • The chairperson shall set the tone of the committee, ensure that members have the information they need, and oversee the logistics of the committee.
  • Report to the full board on committee decisions, policy recommendations. 
  • Assign work to committee members, set meeting agendas, run meetings and ensure distribution of minutes and reports.
  • Initiate and lead the committee’s annual evaluation. 
  • Must participate actively in the committee’s work. 
  • Must stay informed about committee matters, prepare themselves well for meetings, and review and comment on minutes and reports.
  • Should get to know other committee members and build a collegial working relationship.
  • Should be active participants in the committee’s annual evaluation.

First Meeting of the Committee

  • Start on time
  • Set deadline to adjourn
  • Tentative agenda
  • Call to order.
  • Announce purpose of meeting.
  • Appoint a secretary to maintain records of the committee’s action or recommendation.
  • What is our job?
  • Discuss committee assignment and encourage group participation 
  • Setting priorities – goals.

List actions necessary to solve the committee assignment. identify priority issues, actions, or projects by exact name and agree upon a time schedule for completion of each.

  • Implementing priority activities.

o Each activity is assigned to an individual or group to implement.

o Set report dates to report progress on each assignment.

  • Agree upon date and time of next meeting.
  • Adjourn.
  • Committee Report

Name of Committee:______________________________________________

Key discussion Points _____________________________________________

Recommendations and/or Points for Further Discussion:

Names of Committee Members Attending Meetings:

Date:______________________ (signed)_________________________________ Chair


“When I started this organization I felt that there was too much corruption and that the rich kept getting richer while the poor just got poorer and this might be how some work but not the organization I will start”

What are we going to learn? 

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