This model of political and bureaucratic hierarchy for a non-profit helps ensure the specific issue that needs to be addressed is brought forward by the team already involved in that part of the organization.
As GRAPE moves into non-profit operations, we plan to launch four standing committees:
PROGRAMMING—Event planning and management
MARKETING—PR, promotions, and organizational branding
FINANCE—Budgeting, expenses, forecasts, and accounting
FUND DEVELOPMENT—Soliciting and building relationships with donors, sponsors, and members
Rather than putting the responsibilities of selecting a venue solely on the shoulder of the Executive Director, the Programming Committee can determine the best venue and request approval to book the venue. As the committee is already involved in event planning and all things related to the venue, it allows those with the most knowledge of what GRAPE needs and expects to be heavily involved in the decision-making process. The recommendation and request for approval from the committee eliminates the need for Board members to get involved in minor details outside of the “big picture” governance expected of the GRAPE Board of Directors.
Thus, the policies related to venues can be written and enforced by the committee that spends the most time dealing with venues. This is an example of how committees often work behind the scenes to improve the organization.
From the outside, a non-profit Board may appear to some to be the most influential group within the organization. However, some of the most important decisions that directly impact the members of an organization evolve from the work of individuals on a committee who collaborate and brainstorm ideas to make the organization better.
As GRAPE moves forward, you can expect to see the organization grow because of the work done by our committees, our volunteers, and our board. When there are specific aspects of the organization you would like to see change, be sure to reach out to a member of the appropriate committee and they will thank you for helping them with the work they do.
“Thirsty Thursday: The Juice on GRAPE” is a series of articles that provides updates on the organization to relate what is happening at GRAPE. During our transition to a non-profit organization, we plan to deliver a weekly message.