ECCF Helps Nonprofits Advance
New Impact for Board Retreats
Most nonprofits conduct a periodic Board “Retreat” as part of good governance practices. ECCF believes that a Board “Advance” better describes the importance of taking time amid the organization’s activities to look forward, think strategically and improve the quality and scope of its work.
Planning is often a lengthy process, and some nonprofits take a year to study, debate and set goals that are more tactical than strategic. ECCF believes that fast planning is better because it energizes participants, doesn’t tax busy people and produces change with less anxiety.
The staff and Trustees of the Community Foundation have 530 years of collective service on nonprofit Boards, and the staff has long and deep experience in leadership and counsel in hundreds of charitable organizations both large and small across the full spectrum of nonprofit topics and activity. We know that every organization is different, and we focus carefully on what YOU want to accomplish.
New Solutions to Old Problems
From that knowledge, ECCF has developed a broad curriculum on governance, strategy, sustainability and best practices for Essex County’s 2,500 nonprofits. The Advance agenda is an ambitious and engaging half-day process we use to strengthen Boards. It is designed to involve and energize even the most reticent people, to get all issues on the table, form conclusions and create action, and address the distinct needs of the organization. The Advance follows a progression from general to specific and from deconstruction to action.
It is important to have the Advance at a time when everyone can come. Those who miss it are at a disadvantage.
Importance of Following Up
Following the Advance, the facilitator writes extensive notes on the discussions and emails those notes to the Board Chair within two business days. The Chair will review, edit and send the notes to the full Board for reinforcement. It is important that a regular Board meeting is scheduled no more than ten days after the Advance. This helps to put the changes to work quickly while the decisions are fresh in everyone's mind. It also demonstrates responsive leadership.
Leaders in the Community Foundation conduct approximately twenty Advances yearly. These are done for any nonprofit, for family meetings, and for foundations. Each is distinguished by efficient use of your Board’s time, careful preparation with your leaders, and thoughtful analysis and support for the results.
ECCF’s professional fee for these custom services ranges from $1200 to $3000, depending on the size and needs of the organization. You can use your own site or our conference room, whichever you prefer.
For questions or to plan an Advance, please contact Dave Welbourn, President & CEO, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Jay Caporale, Executive Vice President & Director of Philanthropy, email@example.com or call 978-777-8876. ECCF is at your service.