Nonprofit Committee Checklist | 16 Questions to Ensure Effective Board Committees

Nonprofit Board Committee ChecklistWhether your nonprofit has three committees, or ten, make sure they are all efficient and effective board committees.

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Do they:

___   Know what the function of the committee, what they are expected to oversee and what they should plan to achieve each year?

___   Create action items, deadlines, and hold themselves accountable?

___   Have enough volunteers to get the job done?

___   Know the ideal size of the committee?

___   Understand the difference between standing and ad-hoc?

___   Understand how to work with the staff?

___   Have an onboarding process for the committee with clear individual expectations?


Are you:

___   Using your volunteers wisely? Nonprofit volunteers who do not feel helpful will walk away (and take their donations with them.)

___   Treating volunteers as donors?

___   Creating leadership opportunities for volunteers to deepen their engagement?

___   Inviting potential board members onto a committee to “test” if they want to get more involved in your organization?

___   “Testing” committee members to see if they do what they say they will do, before you invite them onto the board?

___   Ensuring they are not overcommitted so that they can be (and feel) successful?

___   Offering people to step on and off a committee every year?


Are you:

___   Utilizing committee meetings for the work and presenting options to the board for a vote? If you are rehashing every discussion at your board meetings – eliminate the committee(s).

___   Presenting reports from the committee(s) to the board 48 hours in advance of the board meeting?

___   Establishing structure for the committee(s)? i.e. keeping a schedule, providing agendas, and starting and ending committee meetings on time.


Click here to download a pdf of this checklist


To read more about effective board committees consider:

Working in a Committee

Ways for Nonprofit Staff to Use Committees

The Fundraising Committee Experience