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Association Management

Committee Success: What It Looks Like & How To Measure It

MemberClicks Avatar MemberClicks March 27, 2023
Table of Contents
5 min read

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?

It’s important to build committees with success in mind and make sure you monitor success over time. in this article, we’re going to dive in building successful nonprofit committees and how to measure success.

Committees for nonprofits, associations and chambers

Committees help to break down all the daily tasks of your organization into smaller team with specific goals and purposes. You could have committees for programs, events, finance and budgeting, fundraising or volunteer management.

Some other benefits of committees are:

  • Creates opportunities for members to participate and expand their interests
  • Provides skill building opportunities
  • Defines responsibilities across groups
  • Shares organizations tasks across teams
  • Empowers different groups to work at their own pace

Examples of committees for these organizations are:

  • Fundraising Committees: Oversee grant applications while overseeing donor appreciation for the entire organization. Runs fundraising campaigns, sponsorship programs, donation procurement, etc.
  • Finance Committees: Supports board of directors in financial planning, budgeting, and account management. May focus on long-term projects and monitoring accounts, funds reserves, investments and lines of credit payment if needed.
  • Communication and PR Committees: Run external communication and public engagement pieces on behalf of the organization. This committee would work with membership leadership and/or committees to craft messaging and help to gain new members. Would be responsible for communicating in the event of a “crisis” or any kind.
  • Audit Committees: Acts as the “checks and balances” to help avoid any ethical or moral issues. They often audit finances and insures that the organization is following any rules or regulations as needed. They may also be tapped by the board of directors to assist in any crisis management if needed.
  • Volunteer management Committees: Many nonprofits, associations and chambers rely on volunteers for events and even for their own committees. The volunteer management committee would be responsible for promoting volunteer opportunities, onboarding volunteers, running any surveys and ensuring that volunteers are treated well.
  • Event Committees: Organize, execute, run and report on the success of any and all events by the organization. Event committees may work closely with other groups, teams and committees. Members only events, webinars, virtual events, trade shows, annual events, etc are all events this committee would help to run.
  • Standing Committees:

Best practices for nonprofit, association and chamber committees

There are some best practices you can follow to make sure your committees are functioning the best they can.

1. Diversity who is on your committees

New members, reengaging members and anyone and everyone else should be encouraged to join committees. Often it’s the same highly-engaged members who join everything. Make sure that there’s diversity in your committee members.

2. Be flexible with committee member strengths

New members may have different skills and unique experiences that they bring to your organization. While you will have overarching goals and responsibilities that you are held accountable to, be flexible to lean on the strengths of your committees.

3. Run efficient meetings

Meetings are what will take up a lot of your committee members’ time. Running efficient meetings are really important. Having an agenda, running on time, and having someone taking meeting minutes are just a few of our top tips for running meetings.

4. Be self-promoting with reports and successes

Committee reports go to the board before their meetings so they know how you’re performing. Don’t hesitate to be self-promotors and share all your successes with the board!

Click through to learn about MemberClicks’ membership management software tools, MC Trade and MC Professional.

Success assessments for committees

Committee reviews should take place bi-yearly or every 6 months at a minimum.

Keep. in mind that reviews are about OVERALL committee success. If any committee is running a specific project or event, be sure to set goals and compare results to goals after. When we talk about committee success, we don’t mean performance of specific projects, but how well the committee on a whole is operating.

You will want to run self-assessments of the individuals in the committee. From these individual reviews, it’s a good idea to hold open forums to review the success of the committee as a whole and review how the members are feeling.

Questions for committee success assessments

An agree-disagree style survey is a great way to gauge the overall happiness and vibe of committee members. Individuals mark if they agree or disagree with statements (like the ones below) to see how they feel the group is performing. Statement examples are:

  • 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. Some of this feedback may be negative which is ok! It’s all in the spirit of making your committees better.

We recommend making these surveys anonymous 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.

Build successful committees

Committees are a great way to add value to your members, volunteers and your organization. If you’re looking for other ways to add value and help your members grow, a mentorship program could be a good fit. Learn about building mentorship programs today!

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