- All committees are community-led: community members decide when to meet and how the committee functions.
- Non-hierarchical: no one is in charge—no chairs, just a group of people who have an interest in that topic and want to work together to come up with ideas, suggestions, plans, etc. Someone from the committee volunteers to share updates here on the forum and in weekly board/community meetings.
Q: Can I be on more than one committee?
A: Absolutely! Follow your interests! Please do evaluate whether you're really able to devote sufficient time to all of the committees you sign up for so that you're not burning yourself out.
Q: If a committee has already been meeting, can I still join?
A: Absolutely! There are no exclusive clubs here and no secret handshakes to learn. If you want to jump into a committee now, jump in! You can sign up under Class Registrations.
Q: Is there an Interim Board member on every committee?
A: There might be, but it doesn't have to be that way. Every member is empowered to do the work that interests them the most, whether they're on the interim board or not. When a committee comes up with something that needs to be voted on/decided, the membership votes on it, not the interim board.
Q: My committee has come up with a plan or idea that we'd like to propose. How do we do that?
A: Bring it to the weekly board meeting (which is open to all members) and say you have something you'd like to put to a vote. The interim board will facilitate getting that question out for members to vote on it. Having a committee member post something to the forum that gives deeper context for the question would be really helpful, too.
Q: Committees make me cringe. Do I HAVE to serve on one?
A: Our current policy says "Membership responsibilities include serving on a committee and volunteering (as specified in the membership guidebook) to ensure our year runs smoothly." This policy hasn't been enforced in years, but maybe it's a good time to start following it. I hope, that you'll consider trying out one of the committees because they're doing really important and awesome work that benefits all of us, and the feedback from those on the committees has been incredibly positive. People are liking the transparency, trust, and lack of hierarchy. Maybe this kind of committee atmosphere WILL work for you. You'll never know unless you try!
Q: If I attend one meeting, am I committed to serving on that committee for the rest of my life?
A: No way. If it's not working for you, doesn't spark your interest like you thought it would, or you discover that you just don't have the time you thought you would, you can step away. You can also go back if your situation changes.
Q: Can my child/teen serve on a committee?
A: YES, PLEASE!!! Our kids are the whole reason we're here, right? They should absolutely have a voice. They have a very different viewpoint on how ES functions, the way we do things, etc., and understanding that viewpoint helps us all meet our children's needs better. It's also a great learning experience for kids. They get to see how a nonprofit organization is run, all the moving pieces, etc.
Q: This sounds amazing! Can I sign up for a committee right NOW?!
A: You betcha. Sign up under Class Registrations or reach out to a committee or interim board member to find out when the committee meets.
—adapted & shared with permission from a post by Cynthia Grimm