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#MemberMonday: Exceptional Clubs Have Exceptional Committees

By Brandi McGrath Kong, Director of Member Services & Conferences

Service to Mankind – it’s who we are and what we stand for. Sertoma is known for the exceptional service that our exceptional clubs provide in communities across the U.S. and Canada. However, as a service organization, we know that none of this comes easily. It requires the dedication of volunteers who share in our mutual mission to improve the lives of others. 

We rely on these volunteers, often organized into committees, to plan and make possible the programs and sponsorships our clubs support.  Exceptional committees help build exceptional clubs, and today, we want to share five ways your club can improve its committee experience:

  1. Treat committees as a tool for success, not an obligation. Getting volunteers excited about committee work can be challenging, but exceptional clubs will give members the opportunity to utilize their own talents, skills, and creativity to benefit the communities they live to serve.  
  2. Understand how many people you actually need. Volunteers want their work to be meaningful, and for a committee to be truly effective, you cannot have too many or too few people involved. Make sure that your committee size fits the scope of the project and the size of your club. Exceptional clubs are careful to not overload its members with work or leave them with nothing to do.
  3. Make sure your chairs understand their end goal. It falls on the committee’s leader to help other volunteers understand the objectives and responsibilities of their work. In exceptional clubs, the charge makes clear not only what is expected, but also a timeline for the committee’s work. 
  4. Budget wisely. This means both time and money. Exceptional clubs ensure that they are giving committees enough time and resources necessary to be successful. Some clubs may try to do big things quickly on a shoestring budget, and while it is possible, they’re often better served when they are given a little more time to plan and seek ways to ease the financial burden on their club without compromising on quality. 
  5. Give members a break. Exceptional clubs understand the value of their most active volunteers and want to ensure that they stay active for many years to come. Volunteer burnout is a real thing that plagues service organizations like Sertoma, so it’s important not to exhaust their willingness to serve.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ways you can strengthen the committee work your clubs does. Learn more in our Committees Function guide and make sure to check out additional Club Leadership resources in the Sertoma Member Center.