Lesson #21 – Committee versus Team

Greetings from GrantLessons!

Energy is building, I am dreaming about Spring! Flowers sticking their heads out of the cold dirt.

Okay, let’s get down to business. 😉 What do you think about the words “committee” versus “team”? For me the word committee is a tiring word. In my previous lifetime known as my professional career, I sat in, participated in, and facilitated thousands of meetings (literally). They were labeled as committees. In my lifetime before that when I was living with my family of origin, I participated in a team. Let me explain I am the eldest of 13 children born in 16 years, with no twins in the family and it was not a “blended” family. For two and a half years there were 15 people who sat around the table every night. 😉

I went out onto the Internet looking for information about the difference between a committee and a team. What I found is of interest to us as we discuss building a group to do grant writing for our chapter. Over the last two years I have heard from many that they can not get people to participate in the chapter grant work. If you are the only one writing grants for your chapter you are neither doing the chapter nor yourself any good!  And this is neither a committee or a team! Okay I said it, now let me try to explain what I mean.

Here are some of the contrasts. A committee has a strong leader while a team has shared leadership. When it comes to accountability for goals and objectives, the committee has individual member accountability where the team has mutual accountability. The committee has efficient meetings while a team has open-ended discussion and active problem-solving meetings. In committees, members raise their hand to talk. In a team, members carefully work at expressing themselves in rhythm with the other members using active listening.

Committees discuss, decide, and delegate! Teams discuss, decide, and do real work together!

Again, I find the term “committee” tiring and the term “team” exciting! So lets think about our grant group as a team. On a team there are special individuals who come in at the last minute and kick for the extra points. In grant writing an individual member does not need to do everything. Actually, the group can bond into a team with different members having different talents in the entire process of grant writing. The team still has a leader or team captain. The team has a recorder who summarizes succinctly the content of the meeting. The team has a researcher who focuses their time on finding grant funding opportunities. The team has writers who can complete both written and online applications (they are different). The team needs an editor who knows the chapter programs as well as spelling and grammar. Lastly, the team has an auditor that maintains the hard files making sure that everything is in place for the auditors.

This week I hope you take a few minutes to look at your grant team. The team positions discussed above do not all require the member to be able to write a grant or a corporate contribution application. You may have someone that is really good at facilitating meetings, regardless of what the topic. You may have a computer nerd who can set up online files on Dropbox, update information on GuideStar, and knows how to import a document into an online application. You may have a member who takes good notes and disseminates them timely. An auditor is simply looking to see that all the grant documents are filed correctly in the right folder.

Most of all look for people who can get along as they make money and I mean a lot of money. You will be surprised how much fun you can have. 😉 I am glad my family worked as a team to put the food on the table each night rather than as a committee. I can’t imagine as the eldest person delegating the dessert making to my brother Willie, we would never have had a pie. Besides Ronnie makes a tasty apple pie and she actually likes doing it. Next week we will start to explore each of the positions on a chapter grant team.

A small storm came through over the weekend producing snow in the mountains. Now we are back to pre-Spring weather, I can’t hardly wait to see the flowers bloom again. 😉

Catch me when you can and I will catch up with you soon. Sandie


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