Process 2: Get Your Steering Committee Started!

Process 2: Get Your Steering Committee Started!

How did planning for your steering committee go? It is never easy to sit down and write policies, procedures or plans; but having a written document describing the intent of your work is an important place to start. It will ensure that you hold yourself and your committee members accountable throughout your community planning process.

Still unsure of what your steering committee plan should look like? We’re including a sample template to get you moving in the right direction: Steering Committee Plan. Make changes as you see fit to adapt this sample to your community and the stakeholders you expect to have on the committee. How does your draft compare with our sample?

Once you have your written steering committee plan drafted (and be sure that it IS drafted before moving any further in this process), you can move on to the more exciting step of actually engaging your identified stakeholders!

Meet with them in-person. Or, depending on who they are, it may be more appropriate to call them up, email them, send out a social media notification, or formally invite them to join your steering committee. Be sure they know how much their input and insight are valued within the community. Let them know you would be honored if they could meet on a regular basis to discuss the concerns of the community sub-set they represent (elders, youth, organizational staff, etc). ALSO be sure they understand your expectations for joining, things like: showing up on time, participating in the discussion, relaying information back to their community sub-set, conducting surveys and focus groups, and otherwise acting as a conduit to reach and faithfully represent as many people as possible.

We recommend you conduct your first meeting in person, but we understand if that is not feasible. Be considerate of your committee members and make accommodations (such as using a teleconference line) as needed.

Your first meeting should lay the groundwork for every meeting to follow. Have everyone introduce themselves, participate in spiritual activities to bolster a positive and collaborative work environment, and spend time reviewing the draft steering committee plan that you have already created. Be certain that everyone agrees with your expectations, and possibly make changes if needed. Everyone must be on the same page of understanding before moving forward.

Check back in the coming weeks to learn about all the things you can do with your steering committee NOW to prepare a community-based plan that will function in the future. Don’t wait until next year and the last minute to begin planning for your ANA grant submission!!


  • Finalize your draft steering committee plan.
    • Compare your draft with our sample: Steering Committee Plan
    • Have you addressed all aspects of this template? Is there anything you know you'll need to add?
  • Reach out to your potential steering committee stakeholders.
    • Meeting in person is best, but other options include phone calls, email, social media or snail mail.
    • Provide them with your expectations up-front so they can make an informed decision about joining you.
    • Address any concerns they might have, such as transportation.
  • Conduct your kick-off meeting!
    • Once your initial committee members have accepted your invitation, choose a meeting date.
    • Plan incentives for attendance, such as a potluck.
    • Review expectations and your draft steering committee plan as a group.
    • Ensure everyone is on board!
  • Tell us how you are progressing by messaging us on Facebook!
    • Join our Facebook Group and tell us what your Steering Committee looks like! Share your thought process, the actions you are taking, and give feedback to others like you!
    • Don't forget to like and subscribe to our Facebook Page as well to stay up to date on news from ANA.