Because large group meetings are not the best place to conduct in-depth problem solving and planning, Homes First! has developed a committee structure to handle much of its work. Based on what the board deems most important, it determines the number and kinds of committees it needs. Most prospective board members should plan to serve on at least one committee. Full committee descriptions can be found in our online Dropbox.
- Resource Development
- Property Management
- Project Development
- Board Recruitment and Retention
Homes First! committee terms of service mirror those of regular board member terms of service.
Our committees are the workhorses of the board. In committees, members can focus their attention and energy on one or two organizational concerns, rather than on every problem and opportunity that comes along. With this structure in place, the board can distribute its governing functions and responsibilities equitably among its members, and thus position itself to maximize its effectiveness. A healthy board delegates consideration of major concerns and issues to the appropriate committees, seeking guidance and direction from them.
Many committees’ successes depend upon the planning prior to the launch of the committee year. No later than two months prior to the committee launch, you should work with the Staff Liaison (staff member who works with that committee) on the following:
- Meet with the previous year’s committee chair (if applicable) to discuss successes and challenges.
- Review the committee mission and objectives for the upcoming year.
- Obtain the committee budget (if applicable) for the year from the Executive Director. If budget does not exist and you feel monies are needed, work with the Executive Director on requesting funds.
- Become familiar with the minutes and agenda templates that are available for use.
- Consult the procedures for document retention.
- Become comfortable with the Meeting Protocol. This will help you run an efficient meeting that will end with the desired results.
- Determine a committee meeting plan. Consider how often you really need to meet. Too often, and you have little time to actually perform the agreed tasks in between meetings. Too infrequently, and tasks get postponed and personal interaction is lost. A sample plan is:
- Month One [January]: All-committee kick-off & orientation meeting and Committee planning session: Focus on planning goals, deliverables and timelines for meeting the committee objectives for the year.
- Months Three – Ten [March – October]: Committee work on goals and post meeting minutes to shared drive. Make sure you communicate any action items that management needs to address to the Staff Liaison in a timely manner.
- Month Eleven [November]: Wrap-up Begins.
- i. Successor identification (if applicable)
- ii. Year-end report finalized
- iii. Internal committee evaluations on goal achievement
- iv. Processes recorded and prepared for information transfer
- Month Twelve [December]: Final Meeting.
- i. Ensure all processes have been recorded
- ii. Information transfer has begun or is ready to begin
- iii. Thank volunteers for service
- Prepare committee orientation materials and schedule committee orientation.
- Month One