Management Committees

A management committee is a group of individuals responsible for the decisions made and actions undertaken by their organisation. The role of a management committee member can vary but usually includes the following:

  • having a clear understanding of the aims and objectives of the organisation
  • ensuring that plans are implemented and carried out within a targeted period
  • organising clear structures of accountability
  • ensuring that everyone on the committee is aware of others' roles
  • keeping proper records of committee meetings and of finances
  • ensuring that training needs are identified and satisfied delegation of tasks to personnel.

Management Committee skills

Volunteering on a management committee is a significant form of volunteering and, as with all volunteering, it is important to match specific skills to particular roles. Necessary skills include:

  • communication skills
  • accountability
  • planning and administration
  • promotion techniques
  • networking
  • negotiating
Every management committee needs to have a chairperson, treasurer, secretary and committee members as follows:
The Chairperson The responsibilities of the Chair of an organisation or management committee may include:
  • planning and running of meetings (or delegation as necessary)
  • ensuring that all necessary information is made available to committee members
  • ensuring that adequate records of meetings are kept
  • ensuring that plans decided on during meetings are implemented
  • representing the organisation at outside meetings
  • being available to communicate with staff
  • ensuring that the organisation operates according to the agreed strategy/policy.

The Treasurer of a management committee is responsible for the financial matters of the organisation and takes may include the following:

  • drawing up an annual budget
  • administration of the organisation's accounts
  • monitoring income and expenditure against the organisation's budget
  • keeping the committee informed of the financial situation of the organisation
  • developing budgets for new developments
  • working with the auditor
  • presenting the accounts at the organisation's AGM
  • representing the organisation in funding applications.

The Secretary on a management committee should be available to attend all meetings and can be responsible for the following:

  • organisation of meetings, e.g. time and place etc.
  • production of agendas and other necessary materials
  • taking of minutes
  • writing up and circulation of minutes
  • management committee correspondence.

Committee members must be committed to the values and policies of the organisation and should agree to attend all meetings for as long as they sit on the committee. Their responsibilities in relation to meetings include:

  • being familiar with the agenda and all relevant materials before meetings
  • being able to present reports at meetings from time to time
  • participating in discussions and decision making.

Hints for setting up a management committee:

  1. Make a list of management committee tasks for the year
  2. Group tasks under headings (research, fundraising, etc.).
  3. Identify what skills are necessary for each area.
  4. Identify which skills the committee has and which it does not.
  5. Calculate the amount of time committee members will have to put in, at meetings and in advance of meetings.
  6. Consider who is prepared to take on particular roles/tasks on the committee.
  7. Identify what officers the committee needs.
  8. Decide what aspects of the work are to be shared by all.
  9. Prepare a clear description of the committees purpose, how its meeting are going to be conducted, voting procedures and what is specifically required from individual committee members.
  10. Plan a training programme for committee members.

Induction and additional training

Induction and additional training are very important for your management committee to enable it to operate effectively. All new management committee members will need a thorough induction to enable them to take an active place on the committee from the beginning. Typical induction for management committee members includes:

  • a brief history of your organisation
  • information on the aims and activities of your organisation
  • information on the policies and procedures in place
  • introduction to other members of the management committee
  • a tour of the premises
  • introduction to all staff working in your organisation.

Additional training can also be offered as part of an ongoing support system for your management committee members. Workshops or seminars with chairpersons or treasurers from different organisations can be useful for problem solving and the sharing of successful management strategies.

For additional information and resources on management committees and governance do check out