Undertaking a task such as designing and developing a free clinic requires direction, support and research. Whether you have a formal process or an informal process, the shape and course of the tasks associated with this long term project is driven by an assembled group of individuals referred to as the steering committee. A steering committee is a group of individuals that sets the agenda and schedule for business. This committee may have 2 people or 10 people on it with representatives from several disciplines. Regardless of how this committee is developed, it serves a purpose, the help with tasks associated with the development of a free health clinic. Ideally, this committee is comprised of experience professionals who can contribute and provide objective feedback to the implementation process. Look for individuals with a background or experience in accounting, law, fundraising, doctors/health care practitioners and business leaders. These individuals can utilize their network and experience to help you along the way as you encounter challenges. For example, your accountant might have experience with nonprofit organizations, as you will need to create a 501c3 organization for tax purposes. You will also need to know how to market your clinic, manage your finances and seek out potential donors.
What should you expect from a steering committee?
It is crucial to establish the understanding that the steering committee is there as a resource for you. Most steering committees perceive their role to be the ones that are going to control the project. Although, there is an element of project/task ownership and there is an element of board-like governance they were essentially brought together to help "steer" the project successfully into a clinic. They can direct, control and manage the required changes in the project but it is solely up to you to define, plan and support them. Someone, or some small team, will establish the Steering Committee and will create the rules, expectations, guidelines, etc… The steering committee has been brought together to clear the path for the clinic. ...