- Committees need diverse skills and experiences as well as having some governance members with specific technical skills – such as in finance or marketing. They also need people with good decision-making and teamwork skills. Most importantly they need people with integrity and a passion for the work of the organisation and for the community it serves.
- It can feel quite daunting at first, but you’re not alone and there is a lot of help available and you’ll pick things up as you go.
Joining a Committee or Board can be immensely rewarding. With over 600,000 community groups and 57,500 charities throughout Australia – each with a governance committee of one kind or another overseeing their operations – tens of thousands of Australians serve in governance roles.
Because Committees and Boards meet and work together to make decisions for the organisation, they often seek a diverse mix of skills and experience to serve in these governance roles. Most particularly Committees and Boards value people with strong character traits such as honesty and integrity and who show passion for the organisation and its work. Boards normally have a mix of people with specific skills such as legal skills, financial literacy, marketing or fundraising, as well as general skills involving people who are good at, for example, organising, notetaking, or understanding the needs of members. Some of the other common skills sought in Committee or Board members include:
- being able to look at things objectively with good judgement
- being curious to learn
- being able to interact well with others
- being enthusiastic
- being a good communicator and
- being able to express views respectfully and listen to others viewpoints.
Governance is a fulfilling experience for everyone when the tasks and functions match the skills and interests of the Governance members. Good recruitment and induction by other Committee members – together with the resources available here – will help provide you with the relevant information, training and support you need. With a little support from others on your Committee, you will be able to contribute, build your knowledge over time, develop your skills and enjoy the experience of helping your community through your Governance journey.
Committees and Boards need diverse skills. Think about what strengths you bring and talk to existing Committee members about the skills and experience already around the table and how you might best contribute.
Want more? ... check out these resources
Online article – Boardable – 9 minute read
Here’s a pithy article that cuts to the heart of what makes a great Board or Committee member in the community sector. A passion for the cause and a desire for service are some obvious qualities … but you might be surprised to learn some of the other things that make for a sensational Committee member.
Online learning module – Future Learn – 2 hours
The ACNC has collected some great online learning modules and this one gives you 2 hours of power on what’s required of Board and Committee members and whether it’s a fit for you. It’s free, takes an hour a week for just two weeks and is a great alternative to bingeing on NETFLIX!