Committee Terms of Reference Template
It is a good idea that each committee of an organization (AKA team, working group or sub-group) be clearly defined in writing. This promotes understanding of who is in the group, what they aim to achieve, and how they intend to go about doing it. Below is a detailed template of what such a committee charter or definition sheet might include. Of course your group should customize this format to best match your group's unique needs and tendencies.
Committee Terms of Reference
Name:(Official name of the committee or working group)
- Name, Contact Information - Roles / Responsibilities (e.g. chair, secretary, treasurer, report to the board)
Deliverables(Specific outputs required/requested from the committee.)
Scope / Jurisdiction(What are the bounds of responsibility and authority of the this sub-group? What do they need to address and what is outside their area of concern? What can they decide on and what needs group/board input?)
Guidance from the Board / Lead Group(Initial direction and suggestions from the board and/or larger group.)
Resources and Budget(E.g. equipment, materials, rooms, funds available to the committee.)
Governance(Decision-making technique, e.g. consensus, 2/3 majority vote or chair's authority, etc. Relationships of authority within the group and with the greater organization.)
- Relationships to other committee.
- How communications outside of meetings will be conducted, e.g. phone or email.
- Where shared information, such as plans and contact information, will be stored.
- Related policies / by-laws.
- How reporting back to the organization will be conducted.
- History of the committee.
- Schedule or meetings and/or other important timelines.
- Information about specific committee projects.
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Does your committee struggle with prioritizing issues and ideas? Do you find it challenging to reach agreement among a large number of meeting participants? Try using Dotmocracy Sheets, another free resource by Jason Diceman.
Dotmocracy is a simple, transparent, equal opportunity, and participatory large group decision-making tool.