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.

The issue with our new project – GiftingWishes

We’re barely one month since the creation of GiftingWishes.com and we’re already addressing one major issue. While we suspected it could haunt us, we didn’t expect it to hit this soon.

Each non-profit leader who registers their wishes with GiftingWishes, represents an organization which we become instantly attached. Whether it’s the mission, their beneficiaries, their locations, or their future plans, we (the GiftingWishes team) become attracted as potential donors and voluntary leaders. It’s a “virus” that affects both John from YourVolunteers and Pete from NPcatalyst, but neither of us are looking for a remedy. Instead, we’re actively seeking to infect others with ways to support these organizations.

Here’s a brief sampling of the organizations registered on GiftingWishes and you may quickly recognize our “issue” or, really, opportunity!

  • I am Love Farms (San Diego, CA) – a Veteran Equine Assisted Therapy Charity that helps Armed Forces Veterans heal the visible & non-visible wounds of war through the practice of love, equine assisted therapy & good horsemanship.
  • Arbor Bay School (San Carlos, CA) – fosters academic and social success for children with learning differences through individualized instruction in a small classroom environment.
  • The First Tee of Northern Nevada (Reno, NV) – impacts the lives of young people in northern Nevada by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character-development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf.

We encourage you to become familiar with these organizations and consider supporting them through your time and/or dollar. Even if you contribute an hour or a $10 donation, your leadership will go a long way toward fulfilling their wishes and helping pave the road to greater sustainability.

For more information about GiftingWishes, YourVolunteers, or NPcatalyst, click on those links or send a note to info@npcatalyst.com or call 775-333-9444.

Working with community leaders to build stronger communities!