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Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations: A Practical Guide for Dynamic Times, 3rd Edition by Michael Allison, Jude Kaye

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Appendix BTips on Using Task Forces

If task forces are assigned to do some of the planning work, it is essential that the planning committee stay engaged to provide necessary guidance to the subgroups and ensure that all the pieces fit together. The planning committee should provide sufficient guidance to the task force up front to set up the committee for success. Before the ad hoc committees start their work, clarify membership and roles of committee members. The primary requirements for membership are (1) knowledge about the topic or interest in the topic and a willingness to become knowledgeable and (2) willingness to participate in meetings (either face to face or by phone).

Should an ad hoc task force be composed of only board or staff members or a partnership of both board and staff members? Staff members are often the most up to date and knowledgeable about a topic; board members may not be as well informed, but they are responsible for keeping the larger picture in mind—what is best for the community and helps the organization achieve its mission while remaining financially viable. As such, a task force's membership might have representatives from both board and staff. In addition, certain task forces might benefit from having nonboard or nonstaff members—interested external stakeholders whose knowledge of the topic would add depth and wisdom to the conversation; for example, if an organization needs to dramatically improve its public image, a marketing and public relations ...

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