Spark Northwest has an exciting opportunity for a skilled volunteer to lend strategic advice on the formation of a Community Advisory Council. If you have experience in community engagement practices, organizational structures, and a passion for equity, then look no further. This one is for you!
As part of Spark Northwest’s equity work, the organization is considering the creation of an advisory council that would include participation by members of the community at large. The intent is to create a forum where Spark Northwest can better understand the needs of the communities they currently serve, or intend to serve — such as low income populations, communities of color, indigenous tribes, and rural farmers, among others. Creating an ongoing forum/advisory council will help Spark Northwest attract the voices of community members that don’t have the resources to step into a formal board member or staff position.
The goal of this volunteer project is to assist Spark Northwest with the formation of this advisory council so that it has the best possible chance of success. To do this, Spark Northwest wants to ensure that they understand best practices for other ancillary bodies such as community councils and advisory boards, consider the pros and cons of different organizational and reporting structures, and recognize the resources (time, dollars, tools, etc) that are needed to establish and maintain the council so that it will be a meaningful and useful experience for both the potential advisory council members and the organization.
The volunteer will work with Spark Northwest’s Executive Director and Board leadership to:
- Understand their motivation and goals for the advisory council
- Research best practices and typical approaches for such advisory bodies
- Provide guidance on benefits and potential pitfalls of preferred approaches
- Discuss resources needed to establish and maintain the structure
- Serve as a sounding board as the council is established and launched.