I have served on numerous boards over the years, and I know that when an organization’s finances are healthy, its culture is collegial, and it is delivering its product or service in an effective way, then Board meetings are pure pleasure. The February Board of Trustees meeting was like that: exciting, productive, fun, and deep.
Our major task at this time of year is to approve the operating budgets for Farm & Wilderness, the Ninevah Foundation, and Farm & Wilderness Conservation, Inc. Those budgets express our goals for the year ahead: where will we devote our resources? For 2022, we have three goals:
- Fully-enrolled camps with the seasonal staff we need to run high quality programs;
- Sustainable organizations – people and culture, finance, and operations; and
- Organization-wide strategy that sets direction and priorities for 2023-2025.
It was Goal #3 that shaped the rest of the weekend’s meeting. How do we want to innovate? Where do we see ourselves going in future years? What is the Board’s role in achieving those goals, and what is staff’s role? Since the Executive Director is the Board’s sole employee (we do not hire anyone else), how can we balance the ED’s autonomy with accountability?
We ended our two days together (virtually) with what we call the F&W Thank You Power Hour, in which we called to thank major donors. Perhaps you received such a call from a Trustee and got to chat for a bit!
Our next meeting will be the first weekend in May in Vermont and we are beyond excited. It will be our first time together in two years; some of us have never met each other in person. Until then!
In the Light,