They are volunteers, too!

Look here for infomation and the latest techniques to develop your board or committee. The purpose is to help those who work or serve on nonprofit boards of directors or committees.

~ August 2002 ~ Topics
  • We need to do something about...

We need to do something about...

There are volunteer groups forming committees all the time in community after community as someone says, "Why don't we do something about the crime in this neighborhood?", "why don't we find something for kids to do after school?", "why don't we have a community vegetable garden?" etc., etc. Neighbor talks to neighbor, and, before you know it, a meeting is scheduled, and voila, there is a committee.

The following are some hints about working with committees:

1. BELIEVE: Invite those to join who really believe in what the committee wants to do. There is no substitute for passion.
2. COMMUNICATE that belief to others: Be able to articulate the committee's mission in a simple sentence that talks about the community benefit of what you are doing.
3. ORGANIZE: Call the people and organizations that you think might share that belief and get them together.
4. PLAN: Decide together what needs to be done in order to reach the goal.
5. PRIORITIZE: Decide what must be done first, second, etc. and what, not at all.
6. LEAD: Choose a leader for the group.
7. DELEGATE: Involve your human resources--committee members, their friends, and their networks--in realizing the objectives. Match assignments to their talents.
8. FOLLOW UP: Be sure to follow up with people to make sure the work is on track.
9. ELIMINATE Unnecessary meetings: Don't meet without a purpose for your meeting.
10. CELEBRATE SUCCESSES. Pat yourselves on the back. Have a party. You deserve it!

Jeanne H. Bradner

Jeanne H. Bradner is an author, consultant, trainer and speaker on volunteerism, board development and leadership. She is the author of three publications, Passionate Volunteerism, The Board Member's Guide, A Beneficial Bestiary and Leading Volunteers for Results: Building Communities Today. She served as director of the Illinois Governor's Office of Voluntary Action, Midwest Regional Director of ACTION, and Executive Director of the Illinois Commission on Community Service. She is the volunteer program specialist for Illinois' Harper College Volunteer Management curriculum.

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Copyright 2002 by Nancy Macduff.
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