There are generally two types of committees; committees of the Board and committees of the organization. Committees of the Board have the ability to take action on behalf of the Board, while committees of the organization cannot. In deciding how to structure your committees, remember that a committee of the Board can only be made up of Board members (must have at least three) while a committee of the organization does not need to made up exclusively of Board members.

Committees of the Board are an important extension of the Board of Directors and carry out specific functions that are vital to the organization. The organization’s bylaws include the committees to be held by the organization and can include a provision for the establishment of additional committees as needed. As with Board of Directors’ meetings, each committee must maintain minutes for each meeting held by the committee and should hold meetings as often as stated in the organization’s bylaws. The committees report to the Board and typically do not have the authority to exercise any powers of the Board, unless stated otherwise. The New York State Nonprofit Revitalization Act (“NPRA”) focused on certain Board committees to improve overall corporate governance of nonprofit organizations. The most common committees of the Board are summarized below.

Finance Committee

Typically, the Board Treasurer is the Chair of the finance committee.

Purpose – To take responsibility and oversee the financial performance and reporting of the organization.

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