MBA Women International University of Houston Chapter (formerly NAWMBA)

Why are Committees Used?

They are used to save time at general meetings. Matters can be discussed and reviewed in detail by a committee and recommendations brought to the general meeting. The work of the organization becomes more efficient. The specialized skills and interests of members are used to their full advantage. More members get involved in the detail work of the organization. Responsibilities are shared according to skills and interests of members.

New or inexperienced members can gain valuable insight into the organization and develop confidence by serving on committees.
Purpose of Committees

Many organizations have too many committees, often with unclear responsibilities. You should be able to answer the following before any committee is established:
  • What's the purpose and authority of this committee?
  • What are the responsibilities and specific tasks of this committee?
  • What are the time limits on this committee?
  • What type of reporting to the organization is expected?
  • What's the budget of this committee?
  • What's the term of office for members? How do we fill vacancies?
  • What resources does this committee have and what will it need to complete it's task?

A committee is really a work unit of the organization. It's the best way to take work and break it into meaningful and manageable chunks. Effective committees remove time consuming detail from organization meetings. They allow more people to be involved and expand the support base of the organization. Committees build commitment of members to the organization.
- Humphries, Susan. Effective Committees. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, 1989.