Every organization has one aspect that depends on the attitude of the CEO and team members might become its integral asset. In case of thorough preparation, this might skyrocket the chance of the organization’s success in any kind of activity. 

No more intrigue. It’s all about a board development committee. Thanks to the board members’ knowledge, experience, and passion, every organization might succeed in its performance.

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What is a board development committee?

A board development committee, also known as a governance committee, is a part of a corporate organization with a goal to ensure the excellent performance of all company operations. Among the responsibilities are:

  • providing shareholders with timely and accurate financial reports
  • incorporating new board systems into the operations
  • recruiting and electing new board members
  • monitoring the implementation of work plans

Development committees act as a tool that takes care of organizational and monitoring aspects. This way, the rest of the board members can focus on other, no less important, tasks.

Top 10 areas of board development

Development is not a straight line but a vector. And just like a compass, a board development committee chooses direction, or areas, for company improvement. Let’s look into the main areas for board development:

1. Teamwork

A company is always about people standing behind it and turning their knowledge and expertise into results. Their efficient collaboration brings new ideas to the organization and ensures the success of their work. 

That’s why the development committee should work on improving the selection of qualified team members that can contribute to the company. Additionally, one of their main duties is to conduct team meetings, which allows employees to improve their professional and social skills.

2. Risk management

It is crucial for organizations to assess the risks they might face in different departments. The board development committee should identify the already existing and future risks in achieving the company’s strategy or implementation of the annual business plan.

3. Strategic planning

First of all, this area includes the analysis of strengths, weaknesses, market opportunities and threats (SWOT). It also includes the assessment of demand and customer satisfaction. 

Based on the data gathered, the board development committee works to further the company’s development strategy that leads to the successful implementation of its mission.

4. Board leadership

The development committee also evaluates the potential board members. In this area, its main task is to improve the processes of nominating and selecting new candidates. The committee also provides future members with training, mentoring, and guidance to meet the board’s criteria. 

5. Cybersecurity

The issue of data protection has become constant nowadays. According to Gartner insights, companies spent more than $123 billion in 2020 to protect their data from cyberattacks, and this figure is expected to increase to $170.4 billion by 2022. 

The development committee always looks for secure ways of storing and sharing information between board members and shareholders. For example, it’s on the lookout for efficient board software that enables them with the desirable security.

6. Corporate culture

Ensuring a positive atmosphere in the workplace is vital for development committees. Firstly, they should identify the desired culture and discuss and promote it among team members. Once promoted, the committee needs to keep an eye on the implementation of the culture. 

An effective way of doing this is by conducting meetings for staff members to improve the company’s morale and culture. Moreover, the committee can occasionally survey the employees to get feedback on the current state of culture.

7. Conflict management

Potential drivers of conflicts may include the director’s behavior, audit conclusions, unclear roles and responsibilities, etc.

To avoid disagreements, the board of directors should clearly define roles and duties, develop a comprehensive charter for a committee, appoint a chair for dispute settlement, and create resolution techniques.

8. Board diversity

The diversified board contributes to more efficient use of the talent pool with its broader range of attributes and more fruitful decision-making by eliminating “groupthink.”

It’s essential to include the individual’s technical knowledge and life experience as part of the selection criteria, combat implicit bias in the hiring process, create an atmosphere conducive to new ideas in a team, and avoid tokenism.

9. Facilitation skills

The value of a facilitator’s skills lies in keeping members engaged, doing good planning, and creating opportunities for leadership in the company.

So, your job as a facilitator is to create an environment where everyone is heard, not criticized, and feels good about their contributions to the meeting.

10. Effective communication

Effective communication between directors eliminates disagreements and their negative consequences. To strengthen relationships, leaders commonly align boards with executive teams and keep all board members well-informed for improved decision-making. Furthermore, they establish accountability so that everyone understands their responsibilities. 

Notably, board management software is considered an indispensable solution among teams across industries to enhance corporate communication and manage the development committee of the board.

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Who should serve on your board development committee?

The golden rule you should remember is that the ideal development committee members have expertise in non-profit fundraising.

So, choose professionals who can create and implement a reliable fundraising plan. These individuals should also mentor and encourage other trustees to contribute.

The committee chair, in turn, should have experience in motivating others to act in the name of the organization’s mission and in-depth knowledge of board strategies that work.

Necessary qualities of a board development committee members 

The personal qualities of board members directly affect the success of any board’s activities. Therefore, it’s vital to prepare a detailed development committee job description while searching for new members.

Logically, the qualities needed for a board development committee for nonprofit and corporate boards differ. Still, there are always some universal qualities that are mandatory for any development committee. 

1. Competence in a specific area

Having people with technical or financial knowledge significantly increases the chances to succeed in most board actions.

That’s why it’s beneficial for any organization to include expertise in the particular sphere as a requirement to its development committee job description. Many organizations follow this tip and add such specialists as external advisors for the compensation committee

2. Leadership 

The organization’s performance is poorly affected by the ability of board development committee members to see the primary goals and the ways to achieve them. It’s crucial as some board members might need support or guidance from their colleagues. 

What can considerably improve the effectiveness of development committees is having a member with CEO experience on board. Such a person knows the specifics of encouraging and leading a team. 

3. Honesty 

Being one of the board development committee members means working for the betterment of the organization. Therefore, every team member must put the business interest above any others, especially individual ones.

Conflict of interest is what everyone in the development committee should strive to avoid. Working side-by-side with a family member or spouse welcomes personal issues to influence an organization’s board committee decisions. 

4. Dedication

If board development committee members don’t show deep interest in the organization’s activities, this harmfully impacts its general well-being. Lack of enthusiasm leads to lower efficiency and effectiveness. 

On the other hand, board members with a passion for their activities invest much of their time and energy, which may inevitably lead to the success of the overall development committee.

Duties and responsibilities of the committee members 

Running any type of organization is hard work requiring close-knit teamwork. If all of the board members carry out their duties conscientiously, every working process should lead to general success. 

The only possible drawback of this working machine is when members don’t fully realize their development committee responsibilities. Generally, types of duties might vary depending on the position a team member holds. However, there are some universal responsibilities for every board member.

Setting up the clear missionEstablishing the concrete purpose is one of the most vital development committee responsibilities because it affects creating all the other specific tasks. As soon as the mission is clear, team members can create a list of actions needed for its implementation.
Organizational management Board members should do regular checkups of the organization’s products or services, as well as analyze the market and its competitors. That’s why it’s one of the crucial development committee responsibilities.
Voting and selecting members For the whole board to work effectively and efficiently, it’s crucial to make up the team from the right people. Because of that, selecting the appropriate candidates from a huge number of applicants is on the list of important development committee responsibilities. Besides that, board members also have to vote to appoint the Executive Director working closely with the executive committee
Monitoring financial activities While your team members don’t have to be financial experts, they need basic knowledge of required paperwork and transactions. 
As far as any organization’s activities are closely related to the financial aspects, such as monitoring funds, this also goes to the needed development committee responsibilities.
Participating in fundraising eventsNonprofits use fundraising events to raise cash and support their missions. Unlike simple donations, events allow donors and other community members to actively engage with NGOs.

Board development committee best practices

Now we invite you to learn some valuable tips that add value to building a high-performing board.

Organize work and track progress with accountability and transparency

In addition to setting a precise board development committee goal, it is also essential to understand how to achieve it. First, assign each task to specific individuals, not to the board as a whole. Thus, you exclude a risky scenario when the success depends on several persons.

Secondly, implement accountability and transparency by using solutions for assigning and tracking tasks in one place. For example, you may use the virtual board meeting software for this.

Get all members on the same page about the fundraising purpose

Often boards are divided between those who believe fundraising is crucial and those who are wary of it.

Hold a sincere discussion with your entire board to see if you can meet your organization’s objectives without private funding. If you determine it is required, clarify the board’s role in meeting short- and long-term fundraising objectives.

Make your development a full-board business

Naturally, the development committee aims to achieve fundraising goals, for which the members plan and monitor critical tasks. However, the entire board is responsible for achieving annual fundraising goals — a fact that all participants must keep in mind.

Embrace board retreats for strategic planning and team building

Consider organizing periodic board retreats as a part of your board development strategy. Board retreats are offsite meetings or workshops attended by the board members, executives, and key stakeholders. These retreats offer a unique opportunity for board members to come together in a more relaxed and informal setting to focus on long-term planning, team building, and problem-solving.

To implement these practices, try virtual board portals for paperless board meetings, which are ideal for centralizing and tracking workflows.

Key takeaways 

  • A development committee of a nonprofit board is a vital organizational tool that manages and monitors aspects of all activities.
  • A skillful and competent board development committee focuses on teamwork, risk management, strategic planning, board leadership, cybersecurity, and corporate culture. 
  • Qualities that are highly needed for board development committee members are expertise in specific areas, integrity, dedication, and leadership. 
  • The main development committee responsibilities are establishing a mission for the organization, managing and monitoring organizational and financial activities, and selecting new members.

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What is the purpose of a professional development committee?

Development committees ensure smooth and efficient performance in every branch of company operations. 

How do you engage your development committee?

You can guarantee development committee engagement by selecting dedicated, knowledgeable individuals and providing them with all the necessary means for smooth performance. 

What are the development committee roles and responsibilities?

The chairperson, deputy chair, secretary, and treasurer are the key roles of any committee. Their collective task is to establish a clear mission, supervise managerial organization through all departments, select board members, and monitor the finances. 

What does a development committee do?

A development committee’s main areas of focus include internal collaboration, cybersecurity, risk management, strategic planning, board leadership and succession, corporate culture, and more.

What are the basics of planning development committee roles?

To successfully assign development committee roles, ensure that candidates have the following qualities:specific expertise in technical areas such as IT, accounting, or engineering; strong leadership skills; honesty and integrity; dedication to their role and the organization.

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Casey Johnson Marketing strategist
Casey Johnson is a seasoned marketing strategist specializing in board portals. With over a decade of experience, she spearheads comprehensive marketing campaigns to enhance brand visibility and drive growth. Casey orchestrates content plans, conducts market research, and collaborates with content creators to ensure impactful marketing strategies.
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