Board Retreats – Do they need advanced planning?

Strong organizations are governed by outstanding leaders. Fueled with passion, experience, and commitment, the board members of non-profit organizations play vital roles in the direction, management and impact of these groups.

The strength of this leadership…and engagement…isn’t always immediately felt upon creating the board or recruiting the new board member. As with many great things, the strength of the board is developed over time, through active involvement, and organizational understanding. One proven method to mature leadership and, at the same time, create organizational opportunity is by conducting annual board retreats.

Board retreats are integral to each non-profit organization’s success. They present opportunities to plan for the future by blending the vast amount of leadership, experience, skills, and ideas of the board’s members. As a result, organizations run more smoothly, where board members are more connected, and the interpersonal relationships of board and staff are strong.

Retreats serve as great “starts” or re-freshers for both organizations and their leaders. The most successful retreats…those which set the stage for future success…follow four key steps.
1. Planning – defining the purpose; planning meetings; self-assessment; presentation materials
2. Engagement – clear agenda; board “buy in”; interactive and fun
3. Strategy – creating goals and action steps; measurable results
4. Follow-Through – developed through committee meetings; presented/reviewed at board meetings

A successful retreat hinges on the work of a well-focused team (board and staff), an interested and skilled facilitator, and a proactive agenda. Its success relies on the “buy in” and active involvement of its board members. This enables the board to openly challenge assumptions, address issues, foster interpersonal relationships, improve productivity, understand and clearly represent the mission/message, and develop strategies.

Have you scheduled your next board retreat? Whether it’s to address your organization’s board development, mission/vision, messaging/public relations, fund development, and/or strategic planning, now is the time to invest in your non-profit’s future.

Survey instrument a primer for ideal board strategic planning

Assessment solution

Conducting annual board evaluations is an ideal solution to strengthening charitable boards and their organizations. For some organizations, they can be difficult to plan, cumbersome to coordinate, and last minute activities. To ease the burden and, more importantly, deliver a clear understanding of board leadership, we’ve designed a board analysis survey tool entitled BoardCheck.

BoardCheck targets a non-profit organization’s growth through the voices of its board leaders. The instrument takes a snapshot of the organization’s makeup and activity by identifying its strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. The data then forms the foundation of strategic planning initiatives.

BoardCheck is designed to serve as a tool for non-profit growth through the voices of board leaders. Best utilized prior to board retreats and strategic planning processes, BoardCheck is an instrument which takes a snapshot of a non-profit’s current organizational makeup and activity, analyzes it, and identifies strengths and weaknesses…all stemming from their own board members. All analytical information is derived from a 30+ question survey completed by board members.

workshop-boardcheck-screen

The survey captures information in the following areas.

  • Mission and vision
  • Board development
  • Marketing, messaging, and community interaction
  • Board culture
  • Leadership and involvement
  • Organizational health
  • Board activity
  • Personal involvement
  • Expertise and skills

 

Particularly advantageous to an upcoming board retreat, strategic planning process, or annual review, the BoardCheck survey features questions to identify key topics, board/organization priorities, recommendations and vision…in written-form from each board member.

BoardCheck is an ideal tool for boards of non-profit organizations of all sizes.

The value of BoardCheck is found in the third-party nature of the assessment. The tool allows board members to rate, rank, and share personal comments about the organization at their convenience and in the comfortable setting of their own home or office. The analysis provided through the survey and, any review/recommendation shared by NPcatalyst is conducted in an unbiased fashion.

Designed as solution for 501c3 organizations, BoardCheck is easily applicable membership, school PTA, and fraternal organizations. All data is held in strict confidence and is property of the participating organization. The information is not released, traded, or sold.

Click here to learn more about the BoardCheck board assessment tool.

  

Amazing community opportunities in the Old Pueblo

Summer has been extremely busy for the NPcatalyst team. Rather than spend the warm months surfing waves in the Pacific or backpacking along the Tahoe Rim Trail, we’ve been serving clients and connecting with corporate and charitable leaders across the country.

This past weekend was spent in Tucson, where we met with numerous non-profit officials, social entrepreneurs, and new strategic partners. Here’s a brief list of our new friends:

  • Beads of Courage – an incredible organization which distributes beads to children being treated for cancer throughout the world.
  • TreeHouse Farm – an organization which provides an unforgettable experience for children recovering from cancer treatment, serious burns, and congenital heart issues.
  • The Haven – extraordinary organization which provides substance abuse treatment and housing for men and women.
  • Arizona Oncology Foundation – a new organization which provides support programs for cancer patients and survivors.
  • One-on-One Mentoring – an organization which matchs caring adults with at-risk youth.
  • Pima Prevention Partnership – provides practical solutions to address both individual and community problems, particularly substance abuse related.

They were all introduced to our services, particularly our online gifting tool, GiftingWishes, and our BoardCheck assessment resource.

Saturday was spent in a retreat with one of our new strategic partners. This soon-to-be-launched company will provide job recruitment, leadership development, and career development opportunities to both college students and employers. Much more to follow soon.

It was just another amazing weekend. We hope it leads to many opportunities to continue helping enhance the philanthropic culture in the Old Pueblo. Plus, we may have even landed a new job for a Tucson resident!

Thank you, Tucson, for your hospitality, heat, and spectacular sunsets!

Offer for free board assessment ends soon

On the first of this month, we issued an offer to conduct a complimentary board assessment for interested non-profit organizations. There are no restrictions, such as size, location, or sector of the organization. Our desire was to celebrate the start of the new fiscal period with something of benefit to organizations, by showcasing our BoardCheck service.

The deadline to apply is July 15th.

BoardCheck targets a non-profit organization’s growth through the voices of its board leaders. This proven instrument takes a snapshot of the organization’s makeup and activity, thus identifying strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.

Conducting annual board evaluations is an ideal solution to strengthening charitable boards and their organizations. For some organizations, they can be difficult to plan, cumbersome to coordinate, and last minute activities. This new survey tool eases the burden and, more importantly, delivers a clear understanding of board leadership.

BoardCheck is delivered in three specific solutions:

  • Raw Survey Results – Your organization will receive a basic summary of survey responses. –  Offer — FREE (typically $129)
  • Results Presentation – Your organization will receive a presentation complete with statistical and graphical results, prepared in a retreat/meeting-ready format.  –  Offer — 50% off (typically $295)
  • Presentation with Analysis – Your organization will receive the presentation-ready report, complete with an analysis of survey results and recommendations –  Offer — 50% off (typically $495)

 

CLICK HERE if you’re interested in taking advantage of the offer or receiving more information. The offer ends July 15th.