A Humorous Look at Board Retreats

Before your next board retreat, take this quiz!

A Humorous Look at Board Retreats by Carol Weisman, MSW, CSP

  1. When should we have our board retreat?
    1. Christmas Eve
    2. Mother’s Day
    3. Ramadan
    4. When the largest number of board members can attend
  2. Where should we have our retreat?
    1. The Intercontinental Hotel in Paris
    2. A topless bar
    3. The Bates Motel
    4. A comfortable setting with good
    5. Light, seating, tables and decent food
  3. Why should we have a retreat?
    1. We’ll decide when we get there
    2. To publicly humiliate the executive director
    3. As a dating opportunity
    4. To examine issues in far more depth than is possible in board meetings
  4. Who should attend?
    1. Board members' probation officers
    2. The staff’s children
    3. Your IRS auditor
    4. Senior staff and board members
  5. Who should facilitate your retreat?
    1. Your bartender
    2. Your hairdresser
    3. Your personal trainer
    4. A trained outside facilitator
  6. How long should the retreat last?
    1. The month of November
    2. Until the board members have all gone home
    3. Let's decide when we get there
    4. Four hours to two days, provided everyone agrees
  7. How can I get board members to attend?
    1. Kidnap their children
    2. Make them sign in blood (preferably theirs, not staff’s)
    3. Blackmail
    4. Let them know well in advance and stress how great it will be
  8. Who should pay for the board retreat?
    1. The facilitator
    2. Your Uncle Max
    3. We’ll think about it later
    4. The nonprofit, with donations as appropriate from board members
  9. What should we cover:
    1. A strategic plan for the next 23 years
    2. Whose kid is the smartest
    3. The personal lives of board members not in attendance
    4. Three or more issues which could include:
      • examining the mission and vision
      • board-staff relations
      • fund raising
      • making meetings more productive
      • organizational and board structure
  10. Our primary focus should be:
    1. How hopeless fundraising is in today’s economy
    2. Partying hardy
    3. Who would you rather have on the board: Lady Gaga, Oprah or Rosie
    4. Creating a strategy to fund the mission
  11. How can we bring the mission to the meeting?
    1. Have the meeting where the mission takes place such as a food pantry, concert hall, school room
    2. Have your board experience the mission by spending the day in a wheel chair, watching a rehearsal, roasting marshmallows around a campfire
    3. Invite in a client or professional staff to present how the agency works
    4. Show a video or film examining the issues


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