Your board retreat is over — now what?

Your Board Retreat is Over. Now What?

You and your board are energized! What a wonderful retreat! You tackled important issues and made some key decisions.

Now everyone is heading to their cars, and you wonder, what comes next? How do we keep moving these ideas forward?

The follow-up from a retreat is very important. You may want to send the board members a thank you note for giving generously of their time for a half or whole-day retreat.  Then send everyone a summary of what was accomplished, listing action items, person(s) responsible and timelines.  If the list is very long, try breaking it down into smaller steps so it is not overwhelming.

Check-in on progress at each board meeting or each quarter.  Continue to congratulate the group on their good work at the retreat, e.g. perhaps reminding people of a new idea or new strategy that will be implemented in the coming months.

Ask for feedback on the retreat. What aspects did people like or dislike? Do they have any recommendations for the next retreat?

Retreats can be for strategic planning, mission and vision, training, and many more reasons but a very important outcome is that board members get to know each other better by spending a bit more time together. In a retreat there is more time for brainstorming, casual conversation during a break, and reflection. Be sure to make the time to schedule one at least once per year with your board!

About Susan Suarez

I am a nonprofit management and fundraising consultant. I have 30 years experience in the philanthropic sector including senior level positions in management, fundraising and grantmaking. I started consulting in 2003, working with local nonprofits and with community foundations nationally. My experience as Executive Director of Eden Autism Services Florida, President of the Community Foundation of Collier County, Vice President of Marketing and Development for the Community Foundation Silicon Valley, and Development Director for the American Red Cross in Palo Alto, CA provides a deep background in philanthropy and management to benefit my clients.
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