Committee Chair Job Description

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This job description describes the Committee Chairperson and Board Leadership Responsibilities on Committees

The Board creates Board committees to help do its work. (These are distinct from Operations committees which are created by organization staff members to help do operational work.) Effective committees require effective chairpersons and clear Terms of Reference. Non-profit boards often utilize some of the following committees:

  • Executive Committee
  • Nominating Committee
  • Board Development Committee
  • Audit Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Fundraising Committee
  • Human Resources Committee
  • Program Committee
  • Communications Committee

Board committees require the leadership and participation of at least one board member. The board member may chair the committee or designate a chairperson as appropriate. Regardless of whether the board member is the chairperson or not the board member is ultimately responsible for the committee and must report back to the board on its activities.

For clarity’s sake we have separated the board member’s leadership responsibilities from the responsibilities of chairing a committee meeting.

Board member leadership of a committee includes:

  • Reviewing the Committee’s Terms of Reference with committee members. This includes the committee’s mandate as outlined by the Board, as well as the EBC volunteer code of conduct.
  • Scheduling committee meetings
  • Facilitating the drafting of the agenda with input from committee members and allocating time for each agenda item
  • Helping the committee decide on a decision-making process and meeting structure
  • Reviewing the committee’s process rules (eg. [Rusty’s Rules], [Robert’s Rules], [Consensus]) and ensure the meeting is following them.
  • Recruiting an appropriate number of committee members to carry out the mandate.
  • Recognizes each member's contribution to the committee's work.
  • Ensuring that committee members remain motivated and complete their action items
  • Knowing staff members' role on committees and making sure they have an opportunity to be heard before recommendations are sent to the Board.
  • Planning and evaluating the committee's work with the help of the members.
  • Making sure meeting minutes with action items, decisions and other relevant information are recorded, submitted to the Board Secretary, and distributed to committee members in a timely manner.
  • Reporting the committee's progress to the Board of Directors and the membership on a regular basis.
  • Orienting the new Board committee Chairperson.

Chairing a committee meeting includes:

  • Reviewing the committee’s process rules (eg. [Rusty’s Rules], [Robert’s Rules], [Consensus]) and ensure the meeting is following them.
  • Guiding the committee through its meetings to fulfill the committee's purpose.
  • Encouraging members to participate in their preferred capacity. Helping members of the committee be aware that it the meeting’s success is the mutual responsibility of the whole group.
  • Listening actively to each person’s contribution and encouraging active listening among committee members.
  • Regulating the flow of discussion – checking in with quiet people, or those with the most relevant expertise, and limiting those who tend to speak often.
  • Keeping discussion on topic and meeting on time.
  • Clarifing and summarizing points, testing for agreement among members, and formalizing decisions by vote.
  • Staying neutral in discussion, providing a governance perspective when necessary. Casting a vote only in the event of a split vote.
  • When the chairperson decides to join the conversation and make non-objective, non-process related arguments the chairperson must step down from the chair position and designate a temporary chair
  • Orienting the new committee Chairperson.

Dates of Effect

Date Approved, Revisioned and Active

Approved February 27, 2013

Date Expired

Enter Date Information