A Humorous Look at Board Retreats
Before your next board retreat, take this quiz!
A Humorous Look at Board Retreats by Carol Weisman, MSW, CSP
When should we have our board retreat?
- Christmas Eve
- Mother’s Day
- When the largest number of board members can attend
Where should we have our retreat?
- The Intercontinental Hotel in Paris
- A topless bar
- The Bates Motel
- A comfortable setting with good
- Light, seating, tables and decent food
Why should we have a retreat?
- We’ll decide when we get there
- To publicly humiliate the executive director
- As a dating opportunity
- To examine issues in far more depth than is possible in board meetings
Who should attend?
- Board members' probation officers
- The staff’s children
- Your IRS auditor
- Senior staff and board members
Who should facilitate your retreat?
- Your bartender
- Your hairdresser
- Your personal trainer
- A trained outside facilitator
How long should the retreat last?
- The month of November
- Until the board members have all gone home
- Let's decide when we get there
- Four hours to two days, provided everyone agrees
How can I get board members to attend?
- Kidnap their children
- Make them sign in blood (preferably theirs, not staff’s)
- Let them know well in advance and stress how great it will be
Who should pay for the board retreat?
- The facilitator
- Your Uncle Max
- We’ll think about it later
- The nonprofit, with donations as appropriate from board members
What should we cover:
- A strategic plan for the next 23 years
- Whose kid is the smartest
- The personal lives of board members not in attendance
Three or more issues which could include:
- examining the mission and vision
- board-staff relations
- fund raising
- making meetings more productive
- organizational and board structure
Our primary focus should be:
- How hopeless fundraising is in today’s economy
- Partying hardy
- Who would you rather have on the board: Lady Gaga, Oprah or Rosie
- Creating a strategy to fund the mission
How can we bring the mission to the meeting?
- Have the meeting where the mission takes place such as a food pantry, concert hall, school room
- Have your board experience the mission by spending the day in a wheel chair, watching a rehearsal, roasting marshmallows around a campfire
- Invite in a client or professional staff to present how the agency works
- Show a video or film examining the issues