Talk to Everyone
That’s the current committee members, the outgoing committee chair, the Board leadership, the ED/CEO, appropriate staff, and any other key stakeholders.
Ask about hopes and aspirations, commitments and expectations, concerns and trouble spots. Summarize what you’ve heard, and share it back with the committee, in as objective a manner as you can.
Then, engage the committee in a conversation about what it all means, what the committee’s goals should be, and what you should be doing as the group leader to help make that happen.
In other words, put yourself at service of the committee.
Once the above is done, circle back to the Board, ED/CEO, and others to share what’s been talked about and the conclusions that were made.
Do Work Appropriate to the Board
In the early stages of an organization, or in small nonprofits, Board committees make contributions that would normally be “staff work” in older or larger organizations. The classic case is the fundraising dinner:
- Early Stage/Small Nonprofit: completely inspired and managed by a Board committee
- Middle Stage/Medium Sized: shared by committee and staff
- Mature/Large: completely managed by the Development Department
Pay attention to this issue, and make intentional, collaborative decisions in this regard.
Use this as a guide, if helpful: Healthy Division of Responsibilities for a Mature Nonprofit.
A series that addresses critical challenges of Board Membership:
Part 1, Joining & the Honeymoon Period
Part 2, After the Honeymoon
Part 3, Assuming Committee Leadership
Part 4, Winding Down, Signing Off