Nonprofit Board retreats can be a productive tool to get key volunteers and staff on the same page. It’s an opportunity to devote a significant amount of time solely to an important topic or agenda item, without interrupting the normal business of a standing board meeting.
We recommend setting aside time for you and your organization’s leadership to focus on important issues. Board retreats can also be an effective tool for building camaraderie and collaboration among board members. According to the BoardSource Leading with Intent: 2017 National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices, 42 percent of nonprofit boards hold annual retreats for their board members. The report indicates that providing this type of social time can be impactful when it comes to increasing the level of satisfaction board members feel with their board service. CEO’s of boards which held annual retreats were more likely to report their board worked as a collaborative team and that their board members were eager to serve the maximum number of terms on the board.
As for planning a retreat and the topics that need to be covered, there are several considerations that should influence your thinking: