Emily Sadewasser, Coordinator
Clayton County Foundation for the Future
Ahead of our first board meeting of the year, the Clayton County Foundation for the Future Executive Team will meet to plan for 2021. The officers, staff person, and director of affiliates from our host foundation will gather virtually to prepare for the coming year.
This process unites the executive team around a shared vision for a new year and is a good opportunity to reconnect after a break for the holidays. It helps us refocus and get excited about what’s to come, while allowing us to think about any adjustments we may need to make to our meetings, goals, and activities. It encourages us to stay organized and focused at each meeting, keeping board members engaged and connected with the work. Keep reading to see how I organize this meeting!
Review goals and activities from the past year
As the staff person, I prepare a summary of our efforts from the past year to share. We review the goals we set for the previous year and ask ourselves how we did. What are we proud of and what will we remember? Did any of our efforts make little or no difference for our foundation or the community? What goals have been completed, are in progress, or should be moved to our list for the coming year?
Review board participation and governance
We think about our activities and meetings from the past year and consider: Are meeting attendance goals being reached? Can any improvements be made that will help meetings to be more engaging and efficient? Have board members completed the outreach activities to which they committed? Is anything getting in the way of their success? Do we need to reevaluate what we’re asking of our board members, considering each person’s strengths and interests and tailoring tasks to each person based on our strategic goals? We will make plans to meet with individual board members for a check-in to see how they’re feeling about the work and their role.
Other things to consider:
- Plan how we will thank any outgoing members and welcome new members.
- Review the operating budget and set budgets and/or goals for:
- Events planned
- Specific fundraising efforts
- Endowment building
- Anticipate any changes in grant requests or the funds available for grantmaking.
- Review funds added in the past year, identify prospects, and thank donors.
- Discuss local community leadership efforts and initiatives to meet important community needs that the foundation should be aware of for possible collaboration.
Set new goals
Look ahead and set goals for the coming year. Use your strategic plan to focus your work. What are pressing needs in the community that we should learn more about? Are there any connections we can help make or groups we could collaborate with? Having completed strategic planning in 2019, we have kept our goals top of mind on each meeting agenda. We plan to move to a consent agenda to better spend our meeting time on strategic priorities. During our planning session, we will set our meeting schedule for the year, review our strategic goals, and assign specific tasks or discussions to each meeting. Those discussion topics will be listed on our meeting schedule and our strategic plan will show the dates for discussion of each goal or activity.
Planning and setting new goals helps to clarify our direction for the year. Board members know what to expect each month and look forward to worthwhile discussion. Setting this groundwork is essential to our efficiency and productivity and most importantly, our impact in the community.