1. Develop written statements of committee responsibilities, guidelines, and annual goals, and review and revise them periodically.
  2. Appoint an effective chairperson who clearly understands the club, the role of the committee, and the importance of conscientious committee leadership.
  3. Thoughtfully choose committee members whose experience, skills, and interest support the goals of the committee and complement the abilities of their fellow members.
  4. Create written job descriptions for committee members. State expectations clearly. Distribute tasks reasonably among members.
  5. Arrive at a clear understanding of the relationships and respective roles of board, committees, chief executive, and other staff.
  6. Give committee members thorough information to aid in their decision making.
  7. Make timely reports to the board on committee actions and recommendations, allowing the opportunity for members to consider the information before discussion.
  8. Set terms of service for committee members to ensure new perspectives and to give board members the opportunity to contribute in different areas.
  9. Set meeting schedules well in advance, in consultation with members. Make effective use of meeting time ime by sending materials and an agenda to members well ahead of scheduled meetings and by moving through the agenda in a businesslike way.
  10. Schedule an orientation session for new committee members.
  11. Conduct an annual evaluation to assess the committee's accomplishments in relation to its goals.
  12. Recognize and express appreciation for the achievements of committee members.

      Adapted from Nonprofit Board Committees: How to Make Them Work by Ellen Cochran Hirzy (BoardSource, 1992). Taken from the “Club Leadership Development Notebook” a publication from BoardSource created specifically for USA Swimming. For more information about BoardSource write to 1828 L Street NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20036-5114. Telephone (202) 452-6262. Fax: (202) 452-6299, email:, website: Copyright 2000. Used with permission.

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