Role of Committees
The number and type of committees an organization has is often related to the governance structure it operates under. A policy-governance model tends to carry out work as a whole and has very few committees. Other types of boards may have several committees charged with carrying out the work of the organization.
There are generally three types of committees within an organization—standing, ad hoc and advisory.
Standing committees have specific areas of concern that they monitor, report on and provide advice about to the board on an ongoing basis. Examples of standing committees are:
- Executive Committee
- Personnel Committee
- Finance Committee
- Nominating Committee
- Fundraising Committee
A recent trend in non-profit organizations is having a Governance Committee. Sometimes this encompasses or replaces the Nominating Committee and its duties including reviewing bylaws, planning board development, and monitoring the board's governance structure.
Standing committees are more common within boards with an administrative/policy model and usually include one or more board members on the committee, along with staff support. While policy-governance boards rarely have standing committees, they often still have a nominating committee responsible for recruiting new board members. CLO has compiled sample descriptions of the roles of various standing committees.
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