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Starting & Maintaining a Group

How to be an Effective Group

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How to be an Effective Group

An Effective Committee

A group has the same basic structure as a business. In a business there are directors and managers steering the company and other employees. In a group it is the committee and the general members. For the group to be effective, the committee must be structured and the old business adage of ‘delegation not perspiration’ applies equally to groups.

It should always be borne in mind that people join committees voluntarily to help and make a difference in something they believe in. Every committee member should have a purpose and feel useful to the group, especially if they have talents the group can draw on.


The three elected committee members a group must have are Chairperson. Secretary and Treasurer. The roles of these are covered in Starting and Maintaining a Group.


Other positions that may be useful are -


to assist the Chairperson and provide cover when the Chairperson is not available


to assist the Secretary and provide cover when the Secretary is not available.


In most small groups the committee positions may not be time consuming tasks and the same persons, other committee members or ordinary members could take on one or more of the following positions (or other roles the group feels necessary).

Marketing and Publicity Co-ordinator

Grants Co-ordinator

Fund raising Co-ordinator

Events Co-ordinator

Technical and Safety Co-ordinator

A Co-ordinating role would be similar to a management role in business, the person that others refer to for information or help on a specific area. The Co-ordinator may just supply information on request or may take on the task themselves.


If the group is planning or has a website then one person should co-ordinate the content, the Webmaster. This person could either be someone that can create and maintain a website or just co-ordinates with the person who does. It could come under the Marketing and Publicity role.


A committee member that just turns up to meetings

and votes Yea or Nay is not an effective member.


An Effective Group Member

Members come in many shapes, sizes and enthusiasms. Have regular activities that involve members and set tasks that can be seen to have an effect on your green space, the 'Feelgood Factor'. Find what days and times suit members best to get the maximum turn out. Often a weekday afternoon and a weekend afternoon will attract a different member. (See Activities for Groups for more ideas).

Planning towards an event can involve many members and tapping into skills they have will make the Committee's job easier and the event better. Remember that members are the workforce of your group and have enthusiasm and skills that carry the group forward.