Role-based Communities


MBBPC Working Group / Project Outline Definition


Role-based Communities


Driver / background

The treasurer group is a good example of a role-based community. It comprises all member group treasurers. They communicate, share experience and occasionally meet - thereby helping to develop and adopt consistent good practices. In the past, there have also been occasional meetings of member group chairs, which have been very useful.

An initiative to enable other role-based groups to meet up informally during the spring 2011 convention was well-received as an idea to be developed.

All member group committees have a number of 'standard' roles and/or activities which need to be carried out.

This is seen as an important step towards the development of role-based training for member groups, and role-based best-practice guidance. The establishment of role-based communities will allow much of the guidance and training content to be self-developed by the member groups themselves.



Member of MBBPC (or someone co-opted to MBBPC for the duration of this project).

(Kevin Murrell has indicated an interest to be involved)

Structure & Membership

Project reporting to MB Best Practice Committee

To include some member group representatives of different roles. It might be useful to include a member of the Finance Committee.


During the project, there will also be a number of role-based working groups, reporting to MBBPC, who will facilitate their role-based communities (and potentially also lead the development of training content and guidance for these communities).



  • To facilitate the sharing of good practices and the resolution of issues, through self-help by groups of member group officers. To provide the means to facilitate the documentation of guidance and the development of training for member group officers in specific roles. To provide information for members (and potentially non-members) thinking of joining member group committees.
  • The idea is to set up 'communities' who can meet online (and perhaps annually face-to-face) and discuss matters of interest, share and help each other, and to facilitate these communities in the development of best-practice guidance and training material.


Objectives / Deliverables

  • Liaise with Finance Committee chair with regards to treasurer community. 
  • Develop a definition of a role-based community.
  • If necessary, refine the definition of member group 'roles' and 'activities' and identify which roles would benefit from a role-based community.
  • Establish online mechanisms and processes for enabling the communities to meet, share information, develop collateral.
  • Determine what reporting structure (if any) is required for each role-based community (e.g. a leader / facilitator / small group and/or what level of oversight and support is required).
  • Determine how these communities will update the volunteer portal with best practice guidance for their roles, and further develop the portal pages which have already been set up for this purpose.
  • As a pilot identify two roles and ask among the communities for volunteers to join a working group for their role which will help to develop & test the processes, and start to communicate with their communities and develop guidance. Lead these working groups.
  • Run meetings for these two roles at the autumn convention.
  • Seek feedback from the working groups, and implement any improvements prior to establishing the remaining role-based communities.
  • Establish the remaining role-based communities.
  • Provide 'business as usual' processes for the ongoing oversight of these role-based communities by MBBPC and in terms of the development of role-based guidance and training (Finance Committee for treasurer community).
  • Publicize the communities at the spring 2013 convention.



It would be helpful to initiate the pilot before the start of the autumn convention, and to be in a position to publicize forward plans in time for the spring convention. In order to allow time for all communities to be implemented and monitored for the first 3 months, the project would be envisaged to take 9-12 months. Work on developing guidance will continue beyond this time as 'business as usual'.



Use the volunteer portal to publicize the work and to get volunteers for the working groups. Use the first 2 role-based working groups to do much of the development work in terms of processes and testing the communication with the communities themselves. The final 'BAU' processes should also be such that the member group committee members themselves take ownership for much of the activity and support. (Self-help approach).



Membership Board (mainly delegated to MBBPC)





While the pilot activity is beneficial and necessary to achieve some outcomes, I think that the "Establish online mechanisms and processes for enabling the communities to meet, share information, develop collateral." could be delivered for all roles from the start, e.g. subscription mailing lists for  chairs, secretaries, treasurers, membership secretaries, events secretaries, publicity officers, social media officers. These would enable officers in those roles to start collaborating on common problem solving and self-help immediately, whilst allowing them to develop their role-based community to a sufficient point of maturity that it is ready to develop and share best practice.