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Being head of a volunteer committee is your time to shine. However, you’ll only succeed if you can identify and properly execute the proper committee development strategies.
Use these strategies to develop your committee and set them up for success:
Connect to leadership. Volunteer committee members must feel like their work is being recognized and appreciated, and this may involve participation and the highest levels of an organization.
Try to connect your volunteer committee with an executive or some higher board, if one exists. This way, your professional volunteers are making connections, staying motivating, and getting a great overall feeling about the importance of their work.
Have a strategy for overcoming knowledge gaps. Advisory committees often strive to have a wide breadth of knowledge. While this is a great idea, it may lead to a shortfall of knowledge if the committee focuses deeply on something.
Consider instigating advisory positions for your committee. This could be guest members who participate but do not have the full commitment of members.
Plan for growth and recruitment. If you are leading a permanent committee, always be thinking about sustainability. This is something you probably can’t do alone.
Set clear expectations with committee members that they will be expected to refer possible members or advisors. This doesn’t mean they will have to jockey professional relationships, but they should nonetheless feel compelled to keep their eyes and ears open for possible recruits at all hours of the work day.
Develop strong relationships. Work can bring people closer together, and this enhances the quality and effectiveness of the work. Unfortunately, technology can take the human element out of this, and telecommunication (a popular method for volunteer boards) can hinder relationship development.
The tech committee leader should be mindful of the ways relationships are developing as the committee progresses. The committee leader should shake things up the event that people just aren’t warming up to each other, and assign partnerships are special tasks.
Build awareness of committee value. Do people appreciate what your volunteer committee does? This is critical for morale, especially for new committee.
Tap into your organization’s regular publications or media channels to plug the good work of your committee.
Aaron G. Blackledge has served on numerous local and national boards and committees. To schedule a free 30-minute consultation, contact Aaron today.