Nonprofit organizations differ not only in statutory form but also in the structure of the internal organization. In particular, to carry out the main tasks within such companies, numerous committees are created, each of which is responsible for a particular group of tasks. The specifics of nonprofit board committees and the number of tasks assigned to them often depend on the scale and characteristics of the nonprofit organization itself. We suggest you learn a little more about what board committees are in nonprofit organizations and how to organize their effective work for the benefit of the entire company.

What do committees look like in nonprofit organizations?

In nonprofit organizations, committees are often set up for specific tasks or entire groups of them. These committees may include representatives from the company’s management structures, as well as rank-and-file employees or visiting freelancers. The main purpose of creating committees is not to optimize the work process as a whole, but to carry out specific tasks that require the knowledge or experience of qualified specialists in this field.

The number of committees depends on the workload of the company, as well as the complexity of the tasks that need to be solved. Depending on the nature of the company’s work, such committees can be set up both permanently and on a temporary basis. The number of specialists involved in committees may also vary depending on the size of the company’s staff or its ability to invite outside specialists.

What does a nonprofit organization chart typically look like?

Regardless of the number of committees in a nonprofit organization, their creation almost always follows the same pattern. There are several categories of committees that are mandatory for most companies:

  1. Executive Committee. Its members are responsible for the bulk of work tasks and the largest amount of work, so they must have sufficient experience and qualifications to perform a wide range of tasks.
  2. Steering Committee. Another of the mandatory categories of standing committees, whose main task is to plan the work of the organization, distribute tasks among individual employees, track performance and develop strategies for the further advancement of the company.
  3. Ad Hoc Committee. Such committees, as a rule, work on a temporary basis and are created to perform specific tasks – for example, fundraising or participation in any events. Such committees allow for more optimized use of work resources and do not distract key employees from their primary duties.
  4. Finance Committee. Such a committee should be ongoing because nonprofits, while not primarily focused on profit-making, are still engaged in raising and distributing financial resources. Therefore, experts in the field of finance will definitely not be out of work.
  5. Public Relations Committees. Many nonprofit organizations are in the public eye, so they need a specialist or an entire committee to cover the company’s activities. If the company has a small staff, it is possible to put such responsibilities on individual employees, but this will not benefit the company. Therefore, it is better to create a separate committee whose main responsibility would be to cover the company’s activities and communicate with investors and partners.

Depending on the company’s development strategy, committees and the pattern of their creation may vary. The strategy for choosing the number and purpose of committees in nonprofit organizations may vary depending on needs, so there are only general recommendations for mandatory structures within the company, while the work of temporary committees is governed solely by the interests of the company.