Few people want to serve on ongoing committees. Gone are the parent-led youth committees. Special event committees are rare, unless they are focused on fundraising. Task forces exist, but usually for short-term projects like strategic plans. Even organizations with sophisticated volunteer structures are struggling with which committees to maintain and which to disband due to lack of attendance. And, many boards of directors have been reduced in size so that they are easier to manage.
There are bright spots – dynamic, meaningful, effective and enjoyable boards. Yet, we bemoan the fact that there are not enough volunteers to lead our organizations. We criticize organizations that are too staff-focused. We are turned off when boards are expected to rubber-stamp decisions made by small executive committees. We attend meetings that are uninspiring or worse, simply boring. We joke about the real conversations taking place on the parking lot. It’s a serious problem.
Marci Mayer Eisen, “Where Did Our Farm Teams Go? Rethinking Committee Process“, eJewish Philanthropy (17 July 2013).