Retreats Really Are Not Vacations

Involvement by the board is an aim that many nonprofits have to struggle to gain, even as others enjoy such involvement routines.

It isn’t just involvement, however; having specific tasks or goals for a board can be helpful in getting the most out of committed board members.

At the recent National Catholic Development Conference (NCDC) Conference and Exposition, Joseph L. Langenderfer the chief executive officer of the Catholic Education Foundation (CEF) of the Diocese of Joliet, Ill., outlined a retreat taken by members of the organization’s board.

The retreat did not just offer attendees contemplation and encouragement. It presented a list of action items to give focus to the members’ actions. Those action items were:

* Create a temporary task force to review/update the financial award amount of scholarships;

* Board members identify, cultivate and solicit 200 new major gift donors;

* Identify, cultivate and solicit 10 new Corporate/Family Foundation Donors;

* Organize a 10,000-piece mailing to family members age 65 and over;

* Review/implement three planned mailings throughout the year;

* Recruit 40 volunteers for student recruitment outreach to parish religious education programs;

* Each board member to commit one time per week on CEF Facebook, Twitter and social media;

* Recruit six qualified and enthusiastic Hispanic parishioners to the CEF board; and,

* Reorganize the board committee structure to include: Executive, Scholarship, Donor Cultivation, Public Relations, Nominations.