What is a committee meeting and why do we need them?
Before we consider what a committee meeting is, why we need them and how to run a committee meeting effectively we should quickly reflect on what a club committee is, its roles and responsibilities.
A committee is the group of people, elected according to the rules of the club, to run the club on behalf of the members. Many people often underestimate the responsibilities of the committee which include (but certainly not limited too):
- Comply with all legislation, especially:
- Association Incorporation legislation
- Member protection, welfare and safety
- Fund-raising legislation
- Food handling legislation
- Liquor licensing laws
- Ensure the club is run according to its rules (constitution), purpose, policies and procedures.
- Oversee the financial affairs of the club, ensuring the club stays solvent (which simply means being able to pay your clubs bills as and when they become due).
- Ensure the sustainability of the club most people link club sustainability simply to financial sustainability but it also relates to ensuring the club has a sustainable number of participants and volunteers, access to suitable facilities as and when you need them (both for social activities and sport participation) and often overlooked but vitally important is community support.
- Define and deliver the club’s objectives and strategic plan
- Create and manage a risk management plan that minimises risks associated with club all club activities, not just the sporting risks
- Create your club culture and ensure expectations are meet
- Ensuring the sporting, competitive and social needs of members are met
- Recruiting, empowering, recognising, rewarding and maintaining club volunteers
- Creating and implementing a succession plan for all roles within the club, ensuring that the next generation of volunteers are being identified, developed and trained
- Regularly communicate with club members
- Collect, protect, maintain and hand over critical club information from one year to the next
Why have committee meetings?
The obvious reason is because, most if not all, club rules/constitutions require the committee to meet and discuss the affairs of the club a certain number of times a year. So the starting point in learning how to run effective committee meetings is to ensure you understand the responsibilities defined in your club rules/constitution about committee meetings.
The more practical reason is that effective groups of people, in this case a committee, will generally achieve far more than the same people working individually.
The trick is how do you get your committee to function effectively and productively and ensuring your committee meetings don’t become unproductive and a huge waste of time?