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The Role of the Executive and Volunteer Boards

Whether your event is large or small, an Executive Board or Committee must be established to ensure the goals of the organization will be met.

Some boards deal directly with the management of the event while others serve in more of an advisory capacity. For smaller events, the board may do both.

Typically the executive boards of events such as winter carnivals, festivals or sporting events will in turn need to establish working committees. The number and types of committees will depend on the complexity and size of the event. As events grow they may add staff to assist with the operations.

For smaller events, it is not unusual for board members to wear more than one "hat" as they end up doing both board and committee work. It is important that volunteers remember which "hat" they are wearing and the role that they are playing. Executive boards deal more with developing policy and setting direction for volunteer committees and staff. They perform "ends to be achieved" functions. Working committees are more involved with "means to end" functions such as operational duties and "how it’s done" tasks.

Getting the right people for the right jobs is probably the most important factor in successfully developing your board. Spending some time in the early stages with a board skills analysis will help you identify the type of people you need in place.

Try to recruit individuals who share your philosophy and goals and have adequate time to contribute. Avoid recruiting through high pressure tactics.