To effectively run many organizations, a governing body of elected officers is required. Standard among these positions is that of the president, vice president, treasurer and secretary. Additionally, other offices are added based on the needs of the organization. The historian and parliamentarian are other positions that are often found in many organizations.
The president of an organization is the elected head. Her responsibilities include presiding over meetings, keeping members and discussions on task, coordinating activities, appointing individuals to committees and encouraging the participation of all members and affiliates in organizational activities and objectives. The president is the highest position in an organization and, ideally, a model for others.
A vice president's most notable role is that of assuming the position of president in her absence. Other roles can vary in accordance with the rules and mores of an organization. Generally speaking, the vice president assists the president in the execution of her official role and functions as a role model, as well.
The secretary of an organization is responsible for all recordkeeping functions. He prepares and reads the minutes from each meeting, provides meeting agendas for the president and/or members, counts and records any votes and election results, handles official correspondence, sends out notifications of meetings and keeps records regarding membership. The office of secretary is crucial to the functioning of many organizations.
A treasurer handles all the monetary matters of an organization. She is responsible for keeping the financial records of the chapter, accepting money on behalf of the organization and depositing it in the appropriate place. In some organizations, the treasurer oversees fundraising initiatives, as well.
Not all organizations have or require a historian. For those that do, their historian is responsible for maintaining a living history of the organization. They record details concerning organizational activities, take photographs and otherwise maintain a narrative of the organization.
The parliamentarian’s job is to maintain order. A parliamentarian advises the president and other members on parliamentarian procedure concerning decision-making, voting, organizational rules and more. In the United States, parliamentary procedure is dictated by Robert's Rules of Order, and the parliamentarian is expected to have a copy on hand at all meetings. Since the parliamentarian is presumed to be well versed in the matter, he is the final word on meeting procedures.