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They are volunteers, too!
Look here for information 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.

~October 2014~

cartoon figures around a table


         Thousands of people worldwide serve on advisory groups for government agencies, nonprofit organizations, schools, and universities, to name a few.  In some cases the group and its activities and deliberations are a fulfilling experience for the volunteer members and for the organization or agency that is being advised. 

Volunteer programs, especially the very large ones, can benefit from engaging people in providing advice and counsel on a variety of topics. In this issue we focus on the types or styles of advisory groups available to the manager of volunteers or other paid staff or the leadership in an all-voluntary organization.

         The first step in having an advisory committee is to determine what type of advisory group is needed.  Engagement of those affiliated with the program or organization is a useful way to gain participation and input from those most impacted by decisions.

   committee at table      Begin by asking questions

  • What information can be gained from people advising on current programs and practices?
  • Will having an advisory board increase the transparency of the decision-making process?
  • Is there an issue that needs study before moving on?
  • Is the program too large and/or complex to gather this information informally?
  • Is there a staff person with the appropriate skills to oversee this group?  (Badly managed and staffed advisory groups are worse than none at all)
  • Are there sufficient people available who meet the criteria of membership to serve on the advisory group?

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