If you’ve been designated chair of the nominating committee for your organization, you’ve probably rightly guessed that you should be leading the committee in selecting candidates for officer and board positions. You may wonder, though, about the practical details of the process, such as when to ask members if they are willing to be a candidate and how to present a report to the entire membership about the committee’s conclusions. Here are some pointers.
Figure Out When You’re Supposed To Make or Present the Report
Generally, organizations have a custom as to when the nominating committee reports to the group, and there are two common options.
Option 1: The committee reports at the same meeting when the elections occur—which means that the membership learns who the candidates are shortly before they’re asked to vote.
Option 2: The committee reports at an earlier meeting, or announces candidates in a newsletter, or identifies the nominees by mail to the whole group.
There are pros and cons to each approach, but the point is that you shouldn’t make any assumptions. Check the bylaws or ask an officer. Make sure you know the committee’s timeline for deciding on candidates and letting the membership know who they are.
Contact Nominees Before Making the Report to the Whole Group
This tip is simple. Before you announce that an individual is a candidate for an office or position, you should contact that person and make sure he or she is willing to serve if elected.
Learning that a potential candidate is unable or unwilling to serve is much easier news to receive when you and the rest of the committee still have time to consider other options. Hearing that information for the first time when the candidacy is announced to the membership is embarrassing both for the committee and for the nominee.
Present a Report That Is Simple and Streamlined
The nominating committee report should always be formally read at a meeting of the organization, even if the information has been distributed by other means (newsletter or mail) ahead of time.
When the meeting chair calls for the nominating committee report, the chair of the committee should stand and say the following:
“Madam Chair, the nominating committee submits the following nominations: For president, Ms. Always Successful; for vice president, Mr. Good at Politicking; for Secretary, Captain Organized; etc.”
Pretty simple, right? Just state the position and then the person you’re nominating for each spot. (Read this earlier post to understand why it’s totally fine to present just one nominee per office.)
One final word: If anyone on the committee disagrees with those the committee thinks should be nominated, they are welcome to nominate their candidate of choice during the portion of the meeting designated for nominations from the floor.