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|~ September 2002~ Topics
Job Descriptions for Committees
Job Descriptions for Committees
Sometimes it's the most obvious things we don't think
When I mention the need for position descriptions
for volunteers, people look up with a, "hey, what a great idea"
look on their faces. When I talk about job descriptions for the board,
executive director and board president, I see the same expression. When
they stop to think about it, most people realize that it is important
to tell people who have been asked to do a job for an organization,
whether as paid staff or as a volunteer, what the expectations are.
It's also equally important, but sometimes overlooked, to have job descriptions
Boards tend to have standing committees--no more than are actually needed,
I hope--and then set up ad-hoc committees as the need arises. How much
easier it is for the committee, standing or new, if the board supplies
it with a job description.
For example, the job description for the fundraising committee might
start with a descriptive statement such as the following:
The fundraising committee reports to the board
of directors of this organization. This committee is responsible for
developing a fundraising plan that is reviewed and approved by the
board. It provides support to the president, the board, the executive
director and the development department to reach the goals set in
the plan. It evaluates the fundraising efforts and reports on ways
to strengthen the organization's fundraising capacity for the future.
Then the job description can clarify the composition
of the committee. These will vary from organization to organization,
but the following is one example:
The chairperson of the fundraising committee
will be a board member appointed by the president. Four other board
members will serve on the committee. One of these will be the chairperson
of the marketing committee. The director of development will also
be a member of the committee. Three additional members may be recommended
by the chairperson and approved by the board. These members may be
past board members and/or persons with expertise relevant to fundraising
and a commitment to this organization.
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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