committee-member-invitation

How To Write a Committee Member Invitation for Your Nonprofit (+ Example)

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Trish

Nonprofit leaders can admit that their staff just does not have the capacity to do it all. This is where committees come in. You get extra help from your supporters. Plus, you give them an opportunity to become more involved in the cause that they care about.

Committees fall under nonprofit board governance. In other words, your board manages forming, staffing, and running your committees. To help them with this, we have put together a guide on how to set up a committee program. It covers:

Let's go!

No time to read this article now? Download your template now.

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What Is a Nonprofit Committee?

Committees work directly under a nonprofit’s board of directors, focusing on accomplishing tasks and meeting goals in specific areas. They are often made up of board members as well as outside volunteers with expertise.

committee-member-invitation-how-to-recruitDavid is ready to learn all about nonprofit committees!

While the types of committees you form within your nonprofit will depend on your needs, some examples of common committees are:

  • Fundraising Committee: The fundraising committee helps your organization reach its fundraising goals by creating campaigns and strategies. 

  • Membership Committee: For organizations that have a membership program, a membership committee can come up with and implement strategies that will attract new members. 

  • Programs Committee: If your organization routinely organizes events, a programs committee is a must. It plans and executes conferences, workshops, panel discussions, and more. 

  • Marketing Committee: This committee assists the marketing employees with strategies that will get the word out about the organization’s cause. Its members can also help create brochures, emails, flyers, social media posts, and more. 

Pro Tip: Streamline the committee creation process by following the three-committee model. This model suggests forming just three committees: internal affairs, external affairs, and governance. This model is an especially useful resource if you are creating committees for the first time.

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How To Recruit for a Nonprofit Committee

Whether you are starting a new committee or revitalizing an already established one, recruiting qualified members is a must for success. Below, we break down how you can identify, recruit, and invite the best possible members for your next committee. 

Pro Tip: Even with valuable, veteran committee members, it may still be time for a revitalization. You want to add new members or start from scratch without stepping on any of their toes. This guide to changing a nonprofit board of directors also applies to committees. 

Determine the Purpose of the Committee

If your committee is lacking a meaningful purpose, then all of the work you put into recruiting will be for nothing. To start, determine the overall purpose of this committee in relation to how it will contribute to the operations of your organization. Create a description that explains the specific responsibilities. 

Creating a concrete committee purpose and member role will help potential members understand what commitment they are making and what skills and experience they need. It can also help with recruiting because it shows the opportunities that you give committee members. For example, if you offer free access to industry publications, that can attract a qualified candidate to you. 

Consider the Composition of the Committee

Your committee should be diverse. Ideally, you want a mix of members who come from different professional backgrounds and are receptive to new ideas and others’ opinions. An optimal size is five to seven individuals. That way, you allow for this diversity, but you do not have so "many cooks in the kitchen" that your discussions are unproductive. 

Create a List of Possible Members

Create a candidate profile to get a strong sense of who you need for the committee. There are many ways to design this type of profile, including asking yourself a few questions on what the ideal candidate looks like:

  • What professional experience should the candidate have?

  • What soft skills or characteristics do I want the candidate to have?

  • Should the candidate have served on a committee previously?

Once you have written a few paragraphs based on the above questions, create a list of professionals who you know are a match. Share the profile with your employees, board members, and other supporters in case they know potential candidates as well. 

committee-member-invitation-how-to-recruitOliver is contemplating the traits he'd like his committee members to have.

Gather the suggestions into a list with each candidate’s name, experience, and contact information. From there, the head of the committee can choose a few candidates to invite. You can have the other committee members weigh in as well.

If the chosen candidates are unaware of the committee, we suggest having your committee head call them. That way, they are not confused when they receive a random invitation.

Pro Tip: If your chosen candidates are unaware of your committee, we suggest having your committee head call them. That way, they are not confused when they receive a random invitation.

Write Your Member Committee Invitations

Now that you have narrowed down your potential members, it is time to invite them to be a part of your committee. To do so, create a formal invitation. Start by deciding if you want to send emails or physical documents. Whichever format you choose, the invites should include:

  • Personalization by addressing the candidate by their full name at the beginning of the letter

  • Details about the importance of having this specific committee for your nonprofit

  • An explanation of what makes this candidate qualified for the role

  • A description of the responsibilities and expectations for the role, including a start and end date

  • Contact information for the representative from your nonprofit who can answer any questions that they might have

  • Clear instructions on how to accept or decline the invitation, including a deadline to respond by

In the next section, we give you a committee invitation template that implements these tips. You can take it and customize it as you see fit.  

Follow Up With Your Invitees

You have sent out all of your invites, and now, you are waiting for responses. Check in with the recipients via email every week up until the deadline, asking if they need more information before they can make a decision. You can also give them a call on the day before the deadline as a last-ditch effort to get them onboard.

committee-member-invitation-exampleSalma is feeling food about her committee member invitations!

If you receive a decline from one of your invitees, be sure to thank them for their response and with them luck in their professional endeavors. When you receive an acceptance, thank them for their commitment to your organization, and begin the onboarding process. 

Pro Tip: Once you onboard all of your committee members, you want to think about how to run the meetings. Treat these meetings like board meetings by creating an agenda for each of them. For the initial meeting, use a first board meeting agenda template. For every meeting after that, we have nonprofit board meeting agenda templates to use. 

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Example of a Nonprofit Committee Member Invitation

Download your committee member invitation template.

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Pro Tip: You have most likely heard of board member conflict of interest, but this can also apply to committee members. If you are worried that members serving on other boards or committees may cause partiality, you can add a clause to the invitation letter that asks the invitee to list any programs that they are involved in that may cause a conflict of interest.

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Final Thoughts

In conclusion, though finding the right committee members is crucial, it does not have to be a complicated process. Follow the steps in this guide to form effective committees that provide important feedback, generate positive publicity, and more to ensure long-term organizational growth. 

Enjoyed the article? Download it to keep or share with others!

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FAQ

💡What does a nonprofit committee do?

A nonprofit committee works directly under the board of directors. Each committee serves a specific purpose, usually providing guidance on a particular subject. Find out more. 

🔑 How do you recruit for nonprofit committees?

To recruit for your committee, start by creating a profile of the ideal candidate. Then, share it with your network, asking for recommendations and compiling a list of potential candidates. Find out more. 

📝 How do you write a committee member invitation?

Using a template is the easiest way to write a committee member invitation. Find out more.

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Trish
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