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What Is A Board Committee?

A board committee serves several purposes within the ecosystem that is a board of directors. By definition a board committee is a small group of individuals that works together on a specific topic or issue as a tertiary element to the board of directors. A board committee can consist of individual members of the board of directors and sometimes can draw from executive leaders within an organization or in some cases, members that are not part of the standing board of directors.

The purpose of a board committee can range from topic to topic and in the corporate board space, encompasses far fewer things than in the nonprofit board space. For example, the two committees that exist for most boards are the audit committee and the nominating and governance committee. However, the other committees that can exist, but are not limited to, are the compensation committee, investment committee, executive committee, cyber-risk committee, advisory board committee and the board development and governance committee.

Purpose of a Board Committee

Each board committee serves an individual purpose and should adhere to best practices because these specific committees do the bulk of the legwork for the board of directors in order for them to accomplish specific subsets of their required work for a business. Each board committee that is created should represent a targeted plan for how the board wants to develop around certain issues so that they can provide better oversight for an organization. The board of directors should ensure that they are filled with the right skill-set in order to properly fulfill their specific duty and make sure that the board has the best possible guidance.

The Role of Board Committees

Board committees serve specific purposes within the board of directors to help provide individual direction and guidance on more granular topics that the whole board of directors would be unable to cover.

Board Committee Management

Board committees should adhere to best practices to ensure that they are fulfilling their individual purpose and maximizing their potential and identifying any weaknesses that may exists within the business.

What is a Board Committee Charter?

A board committee charter consists of five main elements: the mission statement or charge of the committee; the powers and authority of the committee; the composition of the committee; roles and responsibilities; and overall decision-making that is required to fulfill the mission.

Different Types of Board Committees

As previously mentioned, each board committee serves a specific purpose within the board. Every member of a board of directors will serve on a board committee and members are recruited due to their specific skill-set and how they can meet the skill gap that exist in the boardroom. Each board committee meets outside of the normal board meetings throughout the year to execute on agenda items that were discussed during the board meeting. These action items are determined after every board meeting and should be fulfilled before the board meeting. Understanding the different types of committees that exist can be extensive, since there is such a large variety, especially when it comes to nonprofit boards. However, a few of the board committees can be defined below.