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Nonprofit boards often establish committees to "take care of" tasks the whole board might not want to do or might need done on their behalf. Often enough these tasks embody what I refer to as "taking care of the homework" that can helpfully inform the full board when decisions are to be made.

Finance Committees are an excellent example of a small sub-body of a nonprofit that can take a magnifying look at the income and expense statement and the balance sheet to be sure the rest of the board understands the nonprofit's financial condition at a given point of time and most importantly, understand what if any action the board should take. Executive Committees can be helpful in organizing meeting agendas and provide support to the executive director. A strategic planning task force can do the support work in moving a planning process along. All of these committees and task forces have a common function of doing the homework of the board and making recommendations, not decisions.

Lately I've run across some boards that have established personnel committees. A personnel committee or task force (is established with a specific time-limited assignment) may make sense when it's time to ensure that personnel policies need an update to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations and laws (this is a fiduciary responsibility). A task force established for recruiting an executive director and maybe even managing the annual executive performance review likely also makes sense.

But what about a personnel committee that is involved in hiring personnel beyond the executive? I am a subscriber to the philosophy that the individual who supervises and evaluates, hires. This would mean to me that the only staff person "hired" by the board is the executive director. And subsequently, the only reason for a personnel task force: updating personnel policies.

Thoughts?

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