Volunteer/Staff Partnership: Create a Memo of Understanding

I remember early in my career creating a “Memo of Understanding” between my chairman and me as staff.

This allowed both of us to truly understand our roles and how we would work together in the coming year to advance the mission of the organization.

The items below are a suggested starting point for your “Memo of Understanding.” It’s important for you to tweak it to meet the specifics of your chamber or management style.

Responsibilities of the Chairman:

  • Attend all meetings
  • Accepts and supports the board’s charge
  • Plans board meetings and agenda with chief staff executive
  • Leadership of board
  • Appointment of all committee chairs
  • Evaluates board efforts and communicates accomplishments to the board and chamber members

Responsibilities of the Staff Executive:

  • Maintain contact with the chair
  • Provide support to the board
  • Prepare meeting agendas with chairman’s approval
  • Create the minutes with chairman’s approval
  • Prepare board/annual reports to the membership at large (if/when needed)

Make sure you go over this “Memo of Understanding” document with your incoming chairman, get acceptance and make sure each of you have a copy. I kept mine on my desk every day!

This is a great tool to avoid any misunderstanding between the two of you throughout the chairman’s term. Your relationship should be a true partnership in advancing the goals of the organization.

Create your Memo of Understanding today.

Your chairman will appreciate it!

Sample Memo of Understanding