Chapter Resource: Governance & Leadership Positions

An important key to your chapter’s success is a strong governance and operational structure that matches your organization’s needs. What’s different today is often there is a mismatch of structure to level of activity. There is a trend towards a model that minimizes formal structure. Visit our Chapter of the Future for an evolving look at this trend.

The established chapter with a large membership base, robust list of programs and services and strong revenue base generally follows the form and function of a traditional organization with a twist that responds to the new volunteerism and the shifts in communication and engagement. We’ve included models and sample job descriptions here for the traditional model.

The twist to the traditional structure is the shift from a committee‐based model to a community‐based model which replaces most standing committees with project teams, task forces and virtual work groups. This creates many more opportunities that engage members on short‐term, focused work – all of which addresses the changing volunteer who demands more flexibility and shorter commitments.

In a practical manner, Boards will need to determine which committees truly have a “full‐time” job or job that requires continuous interaction. A finance committee for example is likely still necessary. A membership committee however may really be better parsed into a project team that develops a membership acquisition program and an ad‐hoc team that does retention calls. Likewise, a communications committee may be parsed into a monthly writer’s pool where members can opt in and opt out, and a social media action team that gets into gear around events. What remains constant is the basic governance decision and responsibilities. Download the full white paper for tips on board structure, composition and responsibilities.