How To Build A Steering Committee

Building a sustainable community requires involving the whole community through a collective impact effort and is much easier when leveraging the strengths and voices of multiple leaders. Secure the commitment of these community partners to help ensure the initiative's success by having them join the initiative’s Steering Committee by signing onto a Charter.    How To Build A Steering Committee   
  • BRAINSTORM a list of the type of organizations and voices you want to have represented. Usually starting with 8-15 organizations is a good bunch and you can grow from there. Remember, a diverse representation (public/private, organization size, ethnicity, income level, disability, etc) is key to make sure you’re reaching and serving multiple groups. An inclusive vibe will draw people in. Also, REFLECT on what will make this an effective group: generous collaborators, shared trust, and a clear purpose, are some.
  • PULL TOGETHER YOUR PITCH on paper including the purpose of the steering committee, what they will try to accomplish, what commitment might look like, as well as the benefits of participation. This will become your charter.
  • RECRUIT specific partners to fill these perspectives by giving them your pitch through conversation. Look for people who are engaged in the impact economy and have a vested interest in seeing it grow. Focus on creating buy-in during the initial stages by emphasizing the tangible benefits this initiative will bring to these individuals and organizations.
  • WRITE THE CHARTER after pitching to a bunch of different potential steering committee members. This way you'll have a better handle on the vision and goals. Keep it short and sweet with a balance in between general and specific!
  • CIRCULATE FOR FEEDBACK from potential steering committee members. Be sure to build in some of their suggestions to increase their buy-in. Ask each person that's going to sign on to come up with a phrase describing their participation.
  • MEET monthly to train your partners on the impact economy, discuss how to approach goals, and equip them with your message. Once people are familiar with the program, you can meet Quarterly. Keep the group clear, fun and get creative! People are overcommitted and have limited time – focus on engaging individuals’ and organizations’ strengths (the fastest way to lose people is to confuse them or waste their time). Additional TIPS on Running a Successful Steering Committee Meeting (Post a focus question for the Day, Get a sticky board,...)