By Brandi McGrath Kong, Director of Member Services
So much of what your club does is made possible thanks to the hard work of your committees. When our committees are at their best, our clubs are at their best. They transform ideas into reality in the form of mission activities and service projects. Talent is explored, creativity is put into effective use and energy is capitalized upon – all in the name of Service to Mankind.
The responsibilities of committees obviously vary greatly depending on their charges, but they all have two basic functions in common. It is committees that accomplish the objectives related to projects approved by your club’s board. Committees are also responsible for reporting – both to the board and to the membership – about where their projects stand.
So, where does the majority of this work take place? Like your board, committees must regularly meet to ensure that they are successful in the goals set forth by the board. It’s important that committee members remember that it these goals that will drive everything that they do. This is accomplished by:
- Presenting the committee charge from the very first meeting. By doing so, you ensure that your committee members understand what they are there to do and the timeline they are expected to do it in. It also helps the chair quickly understand if the committee needs any clarification from leadership about its expectations.
- Reviewing committee responsibilities and goals regularly. There must be continuity at all times. Upon calling a meeting to order, the chairperson can state clearly what must be accomplished at the meeting. It’s all circular and informs your work from one meeting to the next.
- Maintaining a written record of committee proceedings. Not only does this help you with reporting to the board, it can also keep the committee on track by reviewing briefly the actions of the previous session. With recurring events and projects, these records are also a helpful history for subsequent leaders about what has happened, what has proven to be successful and what needs to be improved from the past.
You can learn more about this topic in our Committee Functions training video. We are happy to also provide additional insight on committees through our training videos and guides in the Sertoma Member Center.