Evaluating Committee Success

Does your association or chamber of commerce have committees in place? Perhaps you have an event planning committee, a fundraising committee, and/or a diversity and inclusion committee.

But let us ask you this: For whatever committees you have set up, how do you evaluate their success? Do you track specific deliverables? Do you send committee members a self-assessment once their term is up?

While both of those practices are important, they can sometimes occur too late. (What happens if a deliverable doesn’t get done and the committee has run its course? A simple, “Well, that committee wasn’t successful. Maybe next year!” won’t really do anyone any good.)

To set your committees up for success – before it’s too late – try sending out a midterm self-assessment. That way, if there are issues, the committee head can address those and make adjustments before the term is up.

What would a midterm self-assessment look like? Well, you may want to send committee members an agree-disagree style survey with statements such as…

  • The committee has the right number of members
  • The responsibilities of committee members are clear
  • The committee has the right number of meetings per year
  • The committee meets at an appropriate time of day
  • The committee meetings are well organized and planned
  • There’s time for everyone to speak (if desired) during committee meetings
  • The committee meetings are an effective use of time
  • The committee has the support it needs from management
  • The committee has enough opportunities to report their work to the board
  • The committee is on track to achieve this year’s goals
  • Overall, I’m satisfied with the committee’s contribution to [Association/Chamber Name]

It’s also not a bad idea to have an open-ended section for additional comments and suggestions. And since some of this feedback may be negative (Hey, that’s ok! It’s all in the spirit of making your committees better), you may want to make these surveys anonymous – just so people feel comfortable being honest, particularly with their terms not being up.

Just as you want your committee members to succeed, they want to succeed! Consider this midterm check-in a way to ensure that actually happens.

Now let’s say you’re struggling to even FIND committee members. Forget checking in mid-way – you just need people to start. If that’s the case, check out our Complete Guide to Volunteer Management below. In it, you’ll find tips and best practices for not only recruiting volunteers, but retaining them as well!