Dear League Leaders,

Your National Board will be engaging in a retreat in the beginning of August. I am looking forward to it. Is your League having a retreat too?

Working in the League of Women Voters should be challenging, educational, stimulating, rewarding, and most of all—FUN! Sometimes boards get so involved with day-to-day operation that they forget this. The "retreat" was developed to give boards an opportunity to get away from it all, look at themselves from the outside and come to terms with the changing role of volunteers in the League today.

At a retreat:

  • Leagues review local policies and procedures to remind on-going board members and to educate new board members.
  • Leagues explore ways boards can work together more efficiently, methods of distributing the workload evenly, and delegating appropriate tasks to off-board members.
  • Leagues develop a month-to-month calendar for the coming year. Should the League be doing more or less? What can be cut for now?

Leagues talk about:

League Policies and Procedures

  • Yearly review
  • Updates as needed

Membership

  • Recruitment and retention techniques
  • Training and involving new members
  • Activities to be planned, scheduled, and placed in the calendar.

Program

  • What program is most important for that specific League to cover?
  • Is there interest?
  • Will it attract new members?
  • Are there people to work on it?

Fundraising

  • A fundraising strategy should be planned and scheduled
  • How much money is needed this year?
  • How should it be done?
  • Who is going to do it?
  • When will it be done?

Use the “Annual Checkup for Local or State Leagues” to start off a board retreat or board orientation. Discuss answers to evaluate the local League activities.

League Phrases

Prepare cards with phrases on them such as Doing it the League Way, Flexible Meeting Schedule, Creating Inclusion, Seeking Change, Diversity, Board Tenure, Growing Membership, and Growing Financially. Pair off the board members, have them look at the card and tell what the phrase means to each of them. Then show the card to the group for further discussion. The board can decide if any of the subjects will be integral to their planning.

League Terms

If the board or, group of members, is new to League, an exercise similar to that above might use basic League terms chosen from the “Glossary.” This is a good way to learn “League Lingo” and the processes unique to the League.

Most of all, feel free to call me at any time if you need more guidance or resources.

If you have any ideas for trainings, workshops or webinars in the coming year, please let me know offline!