Co-Op Committees

Forming committees is supposed to be a good idea when trying to organize a large body.  When used well, they can be.  In a new company, no freaking way should they be used to manage the group.  A committee lacks the holistic view of the enterprise and should not serve an administrative function.  For developing projects and new products they can be useful.  As a means of delegating low priority projects, they can be useful.  Committees should be viewed as a tool to be utilized as needed and not for the long term.  If you've ever sat through a committee meeting for hours on end, you may have some idea of what I'm talking about.  Bear in mind the demographics I expect to develop.  We'll have a high percentage of young people involved.  Forming a committee is easy, making it effective when everyone is green is not going to happen.  It's a pretty safe bet any of the older people who have endured a committee posting will have nothing to do with this idea.  Nonetheless, an enterprise with such a broad canvas of projects can benefit from including these groups if they are charged with a clearly specified mission and duration.

We have a need for some brainstorming of ideas, developing recommendations for a policy or procedure, or some unique function that needs some dedicated people, a dedicated committee would be appropriate.  The committees are not put in place to create rules, but they can offer recommendations and counsel.  Keeping a record of talking points can be a big help to save us the trouble of having to rethink things with each new instance of a repeating committee.  Bear in mind, we will have a website with a forum which will allow anyone to offer up ideas and contribute to brainstorming session.

Social Committee
We've got an army of people who need to work together as a team.  There will be some folks who know each other from the recruitment effort.  In a smaller town, there can be lots of folks who know each other well.  A good sized town may have a gang of complete strangers signing up.  Putting together some events that can pull these people together would bring fellowship and solidarity to the group.  Start some fun.  Put together a bridge club, chess club, a volleyball game, anything that gets people out of the house, brings them to a place they can break the ice and get to know each other better.  Rally a bunch of folks to participate in the March of Dimes Walkathon.  A few people at a time is plenty.  Who's up for a movie?  We may have some facilities to work with.  I'm sure there will be some yard space for a BBQ.  Events such as this would not need approval by anyone other than those who would show up.  Use of facilites would need to be scheduled.  We'll find the room.  

New Product Committee
Can you cook?  The website forum can handle the brainstorming.  At some point we'll need to try out some recipes, see if they are any good, find out what equipment we would need, work out kinks, do some sampling, examine equipment or space conflicts.  Perhaps there is something we can make in the woodshop from some scavenged material that just arrived.

Poll Committee
Not eveyone will use the website forums.  From time to time we may need to poll everyone to improve our operations.  Use the internet to gather as much data as possible, then talk to people that were missed.  Over the phone, in person, or use carrier pigeons.  

Specific Event Committee
If we want to hold a craft fair, we'll need to do some planning.  Find crafter, hunt up some tables and portjohns, work out the parking, research advertising, put together some advertising proofs, set up and break down for the event, handle safety and security.

Shirt Committee
If we had several folks in the walkathon, playing in a bowling league, or serving water to marathon runners, it's an opportunity to present ourselves to the community.  Matching shirts or hats identifies us as being a team.  This sort of thing needs a logo or some letters, probably the same color.  A cheap t-shirt, a polo shirt, or a hooded sweatshirt can all work.  Something for the heat, something for the cold.  There may be some highly dedicated individuals who want the letterman jacket.  Please, no leisure suits.  See the Polling Committee to find out what folks would go for.  

Holiday Committee
Halloween is coming and we need to decorate the store.  Get into the Repurpose Shop and come up with some decorations.  Get those younger kids involved, make it an event.  Perhaps we can supply some cookies and popcorn.  Can we do a haunted house?  Come up with some ideas for Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day, 4th of July.  

Scholarship Committee
See: The Cans For College Program

Yearbook Committee
We know that people will come and go over time.  Putting together a yearbook gives us a historial record of our progress.  Candid shots, group shots, individual shots if you can get them.  Get everyone together for a photo each year.  

ID Card Committee
Someone new joins the co-op, nobody know them, he shows up in the kitchen one day ready to work but nobody got the word.  Is he a complete stranger up to no good or does he have an ID card?  How about we do something special with that to local businesses.  Give us 5% off with this ID card, we'll send an army of customers your way.  We make our cards red, we make blue cards for the general public.  Put together the discounts, sell the card for 50 bucks.  Add important information with the photo.  Allergies, medical conditions, emergency contact number

Business Card Committee
As with the shirts, use a consistent logo.  If you want to recruit people, make sales calls, or impress someone, hand them a card.  For small runs we should be able to print them ouselves.   We could do a large run with no name/phone, just add a sticker. 

Property Committee
We need more land.  Start hunting.


Cooperative Enterprise, Plan Outline