Using 4-H Committees Effectively
Role and Function of CommitteesIt is most effective for a 4-H Council to appoint a committee to perform a task, make a recommendation or develop a plan for the Council to address as a whole. The number and nature of 4-H committees are at the discretion of each Council. The following information should be considered when forming a committee.
Types of Committees
All committees should have a specific purpose. There are different types of committees for different functions of an organization. Standing committees have ongoing functions and are an integral part of the Council structure. Program or activity committees are organized around specific goals, educational programs, activities or projects. Ad Hoc or specialcommittees are created for specific short-term projects, studies or one-time events. A committee need not be composed only of Council volunteers. Many Councils increase involvement through non-Council members on committees.
A record of all Council committees should be kept on file.
Standing committees deal with the ongoing processes of an organization. They are concerned with system maintenance and evaluation. Common standing committees for the 4-H Council include the executive, expansion and review, budget and finance, and public relations and marketing.
Program committees have broad responsibilities for a program area such as health, clothing, water quality or youth at risk. They will employ a range of methods to reach the educational goals.
A specific event or activity is the focus of an activity committee. Examples could include the speech contest, county fair or selection of awards.
The committees work closely with the Extension staff and often share some of the responsibilities with the staff, but the primary responsibility rests with the committee. Job descriptions, work files, reports from previous committees and complete committee commissions all will help the committee do their job.
Ad-hoc committees are formed to accomplish specific tasks such as research, study, evaluation or problem-solving. Ad-hoc or special committees:
- Should be of predetermined duration,
- Can be formed either from within a specific committee, or from any or all of the committees of the Council,
- Can elicit participation from outside of the Council and committee structure of the organization,
- Should have a clear commission outlining what they should accomplish.