3-10 Job Descriptions

Dotting the i's and crossing the t's

Any organization has to determine the tasks it wants to perform, and prioritize them in order of importance - i.e. bills have to get paid, expenses reimbursed, controls made over expenditures, financial reports etc - so the financial tasks are critical to the well-ordered organization. Of course there are many other tasks that have to get done, uppermost in our minds will be delivery of services to the clientèle, the reason we got into this in the first place. But if these other ancillary tasks are not managed well you could come to a grinding halt, even with the best idea, the most compassionate service, the best of intentions that have ever been imagined, designed and created in the whole history of the universe! Phew.

The simplest way to order and manage these tasks is through job descriptions. Individuals are then assigned or volunteer to play a/several roles, and it is their individual activities that taken together actually comprise the organization running itself. Each job usually has a title (human beings love titles, even though they may not admit it - it gives them a sense of importance), and part of the gift each of us has is to be able to fulfil a role, and even identify with what that is. We invest that task with human warmth, vigour and passion (sometimes). Of course in a voluntary society we are looking for volunteers to play these roles, and should try to match peoples skills and interests to the tasks in hand.

It is a respected management credo that to give someone responsibility for a job/task, it is a good idea to give them authority for that task, i.e. they can make decisions that aren't going to be scrutinized under a microscope. Perhaps delineate broad boundaries for the task (or as much as the person asks for) and let them fill in and create the rest from their own ideas and resourcefulness. This allows them to 'own' their project and glean satisfaction from the job they perform.

If you are creating a registered society, or charitable organization, there are certain positions that need to be at least nominally filled, usually 'directorships'. The 'directors' of the society have legal duties to perform as laid out in your jurisdictions 'Societies Act', and you may have to record their names with the Registrar of Societies (usually in annual report, which also reports the new 'officers'). Certain functions are prescribed to specific directors; i.e. the 'President' nominally chairs board (directors) meetings; the 'Secretary' records minutes and handles mail; the 'Treasurer' controls financial dealings, and produces financial reports… Not only are there legal duties to perform, there are legal ramifications - directors may be personally liable for the actions/inactions of the society - consider getting insurance, and also consult with a lawyer if this is unclear to you after doing your personal research. If you are setting yourself up as an 'agent' to act in your society/culture, then your society recognizes and prescribes in law certain responsibilities that adhere to you as a 'social agency'.

Job Descriptions - Add your own details to the following list:


Past President




Phone Line Manager

Newsletter Editor

Web-Page Editor

Membership Coordinator

Promotions Coordinator

Special Events Coordinator

Group Coordinator (if you will be forming groups)

Fund-Raising Coordinator

Researcher - Writer

Executive Director

Staff Coordinator