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Why Your Small Nonprofit needs a Board Retreat.

I recall my time working at smaller nonprofits and feeling like there was so much to do and not enough time to do it. I was operating with limited resources and capacity. Why would my nonprofit need an annual board retreat when I didn't have time to plan, prepare, and execute it and there were so many other priorities.

That was a BIG missed opportunity! I kept thinking I needed more support and knew there had to be a better way.


There was. The annual board retreat.


Fresh vegetables from the garden.

As a gardener I enjoy growing my vegetables from seed which means I typically begin planting and caring for them in doors come February. There’s a lot of attention and care between the period of February and April before transplanting my seedlings outside.


That 3-month period I’m growing seedlings inside I’m laying the foundation for my future garden that will nourish me throughout the year.


Board retreats are a lot like growing a vegetable garden from seed. The seeds of your nonprofit need to be planted and cared for early enough with your board so they can nourish your organization as Ambassadors.


Your retreat is a time to feed your board with information about your programs, impact and fundraising goals. It’s a time to warm their hearts with client stories. After all that, you’ve provided the light of inspiration and knowledge that your board can then take with them into the community and nourish your organization by growing awareness and revenue for your nonprofit.


You’re not alone in this work!


Not all board retreats are the same. Retreats should be customized for your organization based on its needs and goals. I’m a believer that there needs to be time to review organization items such as: mission, programs, impact, fundraising goals, etc. There should be some social time set aside. How often do board members really get to know each other? It’s rare. More can be accomplished when you feel like you’re part of a team working towards the same goal!


You're not alone in this work!


Finally, I don’t know any nonprofit that isn’t struggling with something. There should always be time and space in your retreat to brainstorm a challenge your nonprofit is facing.


Remember, your board is there to help and most, if not all, want to do that. A board retreat is the perfect way to help your board help you.


In case I haven't mentioned it...you are not alone in this work.


If Dandelion Consulting can help you plan your next (or first) board retreat then let’s talk.

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