Posted in Committees

BACon Blog - Association Committee Volunteers: PAVE the Path for Their SuccessToo often association members and staff are asked to conduct the important work of a committee with no support. You shouldn’t assume that a committee chair or a committee member knows how to do committee work just because the association board has appointed them to a committee. You shouldn’t assume that an association staff person knows how to be a committee staff liaison just because the CEO has tasked them with this work.

Your association should develop a program for association volunteer education… PAVE… for all of the participants in your volunteer structure, including the chair, committee members and the staff liaison.

PAVE will teach association members and staff about the best practices regarding committee structure and process. It should include content on roles and responsibilities, types of committees, the recruitment and appointment process, how to manage committee meetings, and the relationship between the association board and the association’s committees.

By utilizing PAVE, the work of your association will be done in a more effective and efficient manner. A higher quality of work product will emanate from your committee system. Association member volunteers and association staff will work together in a collaborative manner based on mutually understood and clear roles and responsibilities.

PAVE will also provide a higher level of understanding on the part of your member leaders, member volunteers and staff on the important issues regarding your committee system and work, including:

  • Process
  • Structure
  • Roles and responsibilities of the association board, CEO, committee chair, and staff liaison
  • Definitions of the types of committees
  • Recruitment and appointment process
  • Meeting preparation and facilitation

PAVE can be an in-person facilitated session for a deep dive into the issues or it can be a facilitated webinar for a higher level review. PAVE can also include a targeted session with your board on designing an effective and efficient committee structure and process.

Every situation is different, so your Program for Association Volunteer Education should be flexible to accommodate the unique aspects of your association.

So help your volunteers and staff so that they can assist with the achievement of the goals of the association board. PAVE the path to their success!

John Barnes is President of Barnes Association Consultants. Barnes Association Consultants helps association Boards and CEOs address the wide range of challenges and opportunities facing today’s association leaders. Barnes Association Consultants helps association leaders make their associations better.

John can be reached at or 703.321.6866. For more information about Barnes Association Consultants, go to