Does your organization hold an annual retreat for board members? And, if you do have an annual retreat, is fundraising on the agenda?
Why Have a Board Retreat?
Here are 6 no-nonsense reasons to have a board retreat this year.
1. Fulfill your mission.
The reason your organization exists is to fill a gap in the world. Your board is an instrumental part of that process. Your board should be engaged and involved, and occasional meetings just aren’t cutting it. It’s time to regroup, reconnect, and recharge.
2. Reenergize and reengage your board.
Be sure to include a “mission moment” and reignite the passion for the mission in board members. Have a client speak, read a letter from a grateful patient or parent, show a short video, etc. Anything to remind them of why they are there.
3. Review roles and responsibilities.
Provide a board member expectation worksheet and ask each board member to sign it. Expectations of your board members should include attendance at meetings, making a personal donation, serving on at least one committee, acting as an advocate for your cause, and helping with fundraising. Also, have board members do a self-assessment of how they did during the previous year, individually and as a board.
4. Plan for the year.
Retreats are used to prepare and plan for the year. Review your strategic plan and discuss possible updates. At some point during the day, break into committees and set goals and action steps.
5. Raise more money.
Retreats are fantastic opportunities to engage your board members in giving and getting. Discuss the importance of 100% participation and provide specific opportunities for each board member to get involved in the fundraising process. Provide fundraising training.
6. Networking and socializing.
It’s difficult to work with strangers. It’s also more fun to go to meetings if you get to connect with friends and colleagues. If you want your board to work well together they will need to feel comfortable together and even enjoy each other. Provide ample social and networking time.
Hold your retreat somewhere else. Get out of the office and hire an outside facilitator, if possible. This will enable staff members to fully participate. A good facilitator should be able to keep the discussion on point, keep the agenda, and move things along.
Do you hold an annual retreat? Why or why not? What other reasons can you think of to have a board retreat this year? Let me know in the comments.
Lastly, should you need help organizing and/or facilitating your next board retreat, contact me. I can help.