Committee Orientation

A committee’s success depends on planning prior to the launch of the committee. No later than two months prior to the committee launch, the committee chair and/or committee members should work on the following:
  • Share committee and position descriptions.
  • Meet with the previous year’s committee chair to discuss successes and challenges.
  • Review the committee charge and objectives for the upcoming year.
  • Recruit volunteer leaders for the committee.
  • Meet with the chair/president and chair-elect/president-elect to discuss expectations from executive committee or board of directors. Also share what the committee expects of the executive committee or board.
  • Meet with the component board or liaison position to determine the strategic direction for the committee.
  • Obtain the committee budget for the year from the component chair/president or treasurer. If a budget does not exist and the committee needs funds, work with the executive committee or board to request funds. Be conscious of deadlines for budget planning.
  • Determine if there is a conference call number, online collaboration site, minutes or agenda templates for use.
  • Determine if procedures exist for document retention. If not, develop procedures and means to save documents.
  • Become comfortable with leading a meeting, using motions during meetings, agenda planning, and minute taking.

Committee Orientation Checklist 

At the start of the new year, the committee chair should lead the committee through an orientation. It is recommend to review the following information.
Component information 
  • Mission, vision & values
  • Strategic plan
  • Top priorities for current fiscal year
  • Membership demographics
Committee information 
  • Committee roster
  • Committee charge and goals
  • Current budget
  • Frequency of meetings and modes of communication
  • Committee operating procedures – Rules of Conduct
  • Role of committee and position descriptions
Volunteer role and assignment 
  • Title and term of assignment
  • Expenses that may be reimbursed
  • Key volunteer and staff contacts
  • Resources available
Individual member goals 
  • Goals for term of this assignment
Performance expectations 
  • Time commitment
  • Meeting attendance
  • Communication with others
  • Specific duties and responsibilities
  • When and how to review performance