Most organizations desire a non-profit board to communicate more effectively, share a vision, and lean into the same values. To effectively create a board that accomplishes these things, they must spend time together. A board retreat is a wonderful way to get all members on the same page. However, planning a retreat can require more effort than you may have previously thought. When planning a non-profit board retreat, it is crucial to focus on a few imperative steps, including defining objectives and group goals, fostering group discussions, and giving time for social interactions.
Determine a purpose and clear objectives.
Your retreat will likely be unsuccessful if you hope to get everyone together without a specific purpose. After all, how might a retreat reach success if there is no objective to reach? Determine the exact reason for gathering and what needs to be accomplished while together. Write down these objectives and keep them in mind while planning the entirety of the retreat. Ensure that activities and discussions point to the main objectives.
Create group goals.
In addition to developing goals for the retreat as a whole, the group will need to determine goals on their own. While the retreat goals might include everyone, garnering the input of each group and what they intend to accomplish is vital to reaching the set objectives. When planning, involve the group members to discover ways to help them reach their desired goals.
Plan for breakout group discussions.
Rather than involving every member of the board in every discussion, divide into smaller groups to see what kinds of ideas are drawn out. Small group discussions will require prompts and planning ahead of time. Without the predetermined discussion topics, groups will likely have nothing of substance to talk about.
Allow for social interactions.
You may want to fit as much work as possible into your retreat. While this is understandable, it is essential to remember that overworking can result in a lack of creativity and fails to foster good thinking. Instead, create opportunities for social interaction. There are a variety of ways to incorporate fun activities that lead to improved teamwork and bonding.
- Coffee breaks
- Shared meals
- Fun event unrelated to work
- Networking event or party
A non-profit may discover the group’s improved communication, trust, and problem-solving skills by allowing for and encouraging a social time during your retreat days. Social time is a vital component of any retreat and serves to bring fun and memorable aspects to a work trip.
Where to Have a Retreat
Essex Woods is an incredible retreat venue perfect for non-profit and all kinds of retreats. When planning your board retreat, consider Essex Woods. Give us a call today or fill out our online contact form for more information!