Once Again! Are Three Standing Nonprofit Board Committees Enough?

Once Again! Are Three Standing Nonprofit Board Committees Enough?

By: Eugene Fram

Nonprofit boards are often known for the proliferation of board standing committees. Current thinking is to reduce the number substantially. Following is one model, with only three standing committees which has been used by thousands of nonprofit organizations for over 20 years. Ad hoc committees or task forces, are used when needed for investigation of policy decisions and major strategic issues such as changes in pension plans.

  1. Executive Committee – It consists of the CEO, corporate officers and an at-large member elected by the board. The committee acts for the board between meetings, subject to later board ratification; sets the meeting agendas, reviews reports for board discussion; and appoints all standing committees and ad hoc committees.
  2. Planning & Resource Committee – It partners with the CEO in strategic planning; in developing the vision what the organization might become in the future, subject to the input of the staff and the input and approval of the full board. Planning & Resource clearly plays an important role, making it easier to keep strategic planning a prominent part of board agendas. This committee also monitors the activities of the ad hoc committees. All ad hoc committees are established for a specific purpose and then disbanded when their work is complete. Example: A nominating committee operates only when needed to fill board vacancies and to develop a slate of new officers.
  3. Assessment Committee – Along with the CEO, this committee develops drafts of the organizational goals, subject to review by the Executive Committee and approval by the full board. At the end of the year, this committee is responsible for an objective assessment of the CEO’s performances. Where mandated by state law, a part of this committee can act as a formal audit committee. This group also acts as financial monitor, except where a fourth separate finance committee is needed. NOTE: The CEO is responsible for ongoing communications between the Planning & Resource and the Assessment committees

Source & More Details: http://amzn.to/eu7nQl

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3 comments

  1. I suppose it depends on the nonprofit and its needs. I’m also used to a stand alone audit committee, sometimes a governance committee, and sometimes a finance committee. For nonprofits I believe they should also consider a development committee, and I suggest that all boards consider a risk management committee. Thus, that can get to be a lot of committees, and perhaps the need to reduce and consolidate. It really depends on the needs of the nonprofit.

    Dave Tate (San Francisco)
    http://tatetalk.com

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    1. Thanks for adding to the discussion. Agree about the audit committee but with nonprofits the other functions can be handled by the executive cvommittee or a staff board task force convened on a regular schedule.
      You also may be interested in these articles and links, especially the blog-site and book, if you haven’t already seen them.
      Blog site http://bit.ly/yfRZpz Book: http://amzn.to/eu7nQl
      http://bit.ly/OvF4ri http://bit.ly/13Dsd3v
      frameugene@gmail.com
      The nonprofit governance model in the book is based on: building trust between the board and management, eliminating redundant board committees; eliminating board micromanagement; focusing the board on policy & strategy and having a robust board evaluation focused on outcomes and impacts, not processes. It has been adopted or adopted by thousands of nonprofit boards.
      Many ways book can be used: Adopt or adapt the model; Reference source for board issues; Training tool board development; Motivational tool for director engagement; Reference to understand board governance & compliance obligations. A leader’s guide is available for the book for those who want to use it as a base for collegiate/ continuing education classes or for short seminars that appeal to board members and CEOs.
      BTW: My partner on the book is a professional writer. The material in the book is however, is based on my extensive field experiences as a NFP board director and consultant. All examples reported have a fact base without embellishment. The material is presented in story line format for interesting and easy reading.

      Like

      1. Submitted on 2014/06/24 at 12:42 am | In reply to David Tate, Esq..

        Thanks for adding to the discussion. Agree about the audit committee but with nonprofits the other functions can be handled by the executive cvommittee or a staff board task force convened on a regular schedule.
        You also may be interested in these articles and links, especially the blog-site and book, if you haven’t already seen them.
        Blog site http://bit.ly/yfRZpz Book: http://amzn.to/eu7nQl
        http://bit.ly/OvF4ri http://bit.ly/13Dsd3v
        frameugene@gmail.com
        The nonprofit governance model in the book is based on: building trust between the board and management, eliminating redundant board committees; eliminating board micromanagement; focusing the board on policy & strategy and having a robust board evaluation focused on outcomes and impacts, not processes. It has been adopted or adopted by thousands of nonprofit boards.
        Many ways book can be used: Adopt or adapt the model; Reference source for board issues; Training tool board development; Motivational tool for director engagement; Reference to understand board governance & compliance obligations. A leader’s guide is available for the book for those who want to use it as a base for collegiate/ continuing education classes or for short seminars that appeal to board members and CEOs.
        BTW: My partner on the book is a professional writer. The material in the book is however, is based on my extensive field experiences as a NFP board director and consultant. All examples reported have a fact base without embellishment. The material is presented in story line format for interesting and easy reading.

        Like

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