Advisory Committees

Board Advisory Committees and Task Forces
The Board establishes Advisory Committees and Task Forces to support the Trustees in their work and enable the Board to develop procedures for monitoring and providing oversight for its own functions as well as for those of the paid and volunteer staff and Ministry Teams of the Church.

The overall purpose of the Governance Advisory Committee is to enable the Board of Trustees to live up to the performance expectations that it has set for itself. This work includes:

– enabling the Board to update the Church’s Mission Statement and the Board’s Statement of desired Outcomes;
– recommending amendments to policies that the Board has adopted and suggesting new policies that the Board may wish to consider;
– revising governance-related documents at the Board’s request
– assisting with planning and implementing orientation for new Board members;
– enabling the Trustees to review their own covenant annually;
– assisting with planning periodic Board retreats; and,
– assuming responsibility for fulfilling governance-related mandates described throughout the Policy Book

The overall purpose of the Strategy Advisory Committee is to recommend, at predictably regular intervals, priorities for the Board to consider in its strategic direction of the Church. This work includes:

  • assisting the Board in its efforts to engage the Church’s members in considering alternative choices for major programming;
  • assisting the Board in its oversight responsibilities for implementing the priorities that are articulated in the Church’s strategic plans; and
  • enabling the Board’s efforts to develop the Congregation’s long-range strategic plans on a regular periodic basis.

The overall purpose of the Oversight Advisory Committee is to develop, implement, and regularly review accountability systems for use by the Board of Trustees. These systems will be used by the Board to evaluate its own performance, including the performance of its Advisory Committees and Task Forces. The Oversight Advisory Committee will make recommendations based on its charge, as well as at the request of the Board. This work includes:

  • recommending approaches for the Board as it evaluates whether its own behavior, including that of its Advisory Committees and Task Forces, aligns with the Church’s Mission;
  • supporting the Trustees in review of their own performance (e.g., effectiveness of agendas, meeting time management, timeliness of minutes, follow-through on Board discussion and delegation to Advisory Committees and Task Forces, including decisions made in executive session);
  • suggesting possible adjustments to Board processes, as noted above;
  • developing recommended processes to clearly communicate to other Advisory Committees and Task Forces the extent of delegated authority and responsibility of each; and,
  • conducting regular and periodic reviews of each Advisory Committee and Task Force, and forwarding the reports to the Board with recommendations about areas of concern which it may wish to consider. If action is warranted, the Board will communicate its decisions to the Advisory Committee or Task Force under review through its Chairperson.

The overall purpose of the Finance Advisory Committee is to provide to the Board an on-going review of the financial affairs of the Church so that the Trustees can maintain its financial stability. This work includes:

  • analyzing monthly financial reports prepared by staff and making routine budget adjustments affecting income or expenses in the Congregationally-approved budget as long as the amount of any approved operating deficit is not exceeded;
  • reporting to the Board on a regular basis concerning the performance of the Church’s endowment funds;
  • recommending to the Board the creation of any new budget lines that become necessary during an operating year;
  • working with other Board Advisory Committees and the professional staff to prepare a draft budget for consideration by the Board in August of each year;
  • recommending to the Board, after consultation with the Endowment Committee, the amount of the annual draw from the unrestricted endowment funds to support the implementation of the mission of the Church;
  • presenting the Board’s recommended budget to the Congregation at the Fall Congregational Meeting and the annual statement of financial affairs to the Congregation following the end of the church’s fiscal year;
  • responding to requests by the Board for recommendations concerning financial matters that affect the Church’s programming and operations;
  • assuming responsibility for fulfilling finance-related mandates described throughout the policy book, and,
  • recommending finance-related policies to the Board for its consideration.

The overall purpose of the Endowment Advisory Committee is to take responsibility for advising the Board of Trustees concerning the long-term stewardship of the Church’s endowment fund. This work includes:

  • developing and managing a Legacy Giving program so that the Church’s endowment funds grow steadily in value;
  • maintaining a list of donors and advising the Board of major gifts;
  • recommending criteria for the long-term management of the Church’s endowment funds;
  • assuming responsibility for fulfilling endowment-related mandates described throughout this policy book; and,
  • recommending endowment-related policies to the Board for its consideration.

The overall purpose of the Fixed Assets Advisory Committee is to assure, regularly and in a predictable way, the integrity of the Church’s building and grounds. This work includes:

  • working closely with professional and volunteer staff to develop recommendations to the Board concerning the results of assessing the condition of the Church’s building and grounds;
  • evaluating, planning and recommending strategies to the Board for handling the need for major repairs and improvements to the Church’s building and grounds, including, as examples, the roof and the heating system,
  • updating the Board’s awareness of changes to local zoning and other regulations
  • evaluating and negotiating contracts with third parties for larger projects, subject to Board approval; and
  • working with the Minister or the Minister’s delegate to execute projects, including scheduling, overseeing, evaluating, and finalizing work, as necessary.

The overall purpose of the Personnel Advisory Committee is to develop and recommend to the Board policies to promote a healthy, professional, and legal working relationship between the church and its paid and volunteer staff. This work includes:

  • seeking the advice of outside legal counsel to review any proposed changes to the Personnel Manual and remaining abreast of upcoming changes in employment law. This includes:
    • reviewing and recommending changes to the church’s Personnel Manual for paid staff.
    • keeping the board abreast of the effective date of changes to relevant employment laws and how those changes may impact employment policies, including the Personnel Manual.
  • providing advice concerning major changes to staff positions in accordance with section 4.1.2, below.
  • ensuring the personnel manual is consistent with compensation standards, in accordance with section, below.
  • making policy recommendations concerning church volunteers at the request of the board and with advice from outside legal counsel.

The overall purpose of the Stewardship Task Force is to report directly to the Board on matters of fundraising and member engagement. The Task Force should have year-long responsibility for these subjects beyond the months when it is managing the Annual Campaign for the Operating Budget. This work includes:

  • overseeing fundraising for the church through pledges of support as well as other fundraising activities (e.g., auction, sales);
  • informing the board on a monthly basis concerning its activities and progress toward its goals during its management of the Annual Budget Campaign
  • reporting to the board throughout the year to recommend strategies for achieving fundraising and member engagement goals
  • encouraging generosity through use of the UUA Fair Giving Guide and other best practices;
  • developing fundraising skills by drawing on the resources of the UUA and the Central Eastern Regional district;
  • communicating effectively to the Board and Congregation throughout the year about the meaning and importance of stewardship; and
  • assisting in the larger goal of increasing membership engagement and commitment, to each other and to the church.