April 2013 BOD Retreat Summay

Strategic Plan

A draft of the new strategic plan was reviewed through small group exercises and large group discussion. The purpose for these exercises was to identify the the board's vision to assist in providing a context for decision making going forward.


During the first round, small groups were asked to envision where VMBA should be in five years in relation to the public land, riders, chapters, finances, partnerships, and trails/landowners. Phase two asked groups to determine where they agreed with the draft and identify where I needed to consider an alternative (many helpful suggestions were shared).


Lastly, we came together in a large group to discuss differences between groups. The larger group was fairly in synch. In the end it was decided the plan would be easier to use and for our stakeholders to understand if the format changed.

Sponsorship/BOD Involvement

Berne facilitated a brainstorming session and identified approximately 50 businesses. BOD names were attached based on each person's familiarity with the business.


As a first step in stewarding sponsorship, this list is very important. I shared an updated sponsor packet, which Berne is also working on.


To keep our energy moving on the list, I propose the following BOD progression:


I will to reach out to the finance group and establish goals based on the budget, grants, membership/festival sales and anticipated donations for 2013. I will then ask the development team to create strategies to reach sponsorship revenue goals as identified by the finance group grounded in educating, cultivating, asking, recognizing, and involving our sponsors.


Lastly, I will share the plan and goals/strategies with the strategy group for feedback, assistance tracking our success, and identifying additional opportunities.


Raising funds is our collective primary focus. The BOD groups create clear opportunities to help drive the process while remaining sensitive to time commitments everyone has and potential conflicts of interests.


While all this is going on, PLEASE....everyone send BOD member suggestions to the leadership group. Keep in mind, we need nonprofit experienced fundraisers for the BOD. Thank you in advance for your suggestions.

BOD Leadership Groups

I introduced a plan to divide the efforts of the BOD into manageable and specific pieces: Leadership, Finance, Development, and Strategy (the document describing these is on the Google Doc page).


The desired outcome of the groups is to ensure thorough and measured processes we can track and learn from as a young organization relative to stewarding sponsorship, board development, finances, and overall growth.


Further, these groups will encourage a process to vet new opportunities in relation to current work progress and synchronize with the strategic plan.


Leadership - John & Scott

Finance - Jill & Scott

Development - Louise & Berne

Strategy - Todd, Holly & Ed


A short discussion about who should go to which group was shared. In the end, I was to place folks in the group I thought they should serve on. Since the meeting Berne was in touch with folks. I get the impression most everyone is on the group they feel most comfortable with. If not, please let me know.

BOD Focus Group

Caveat - This is my interpretation of the focus group question responses. I invite Louise to share what she heard as well.


Q #1 - How much of an impact have you had thus far based in your area of expertise?


Answers were fairly diverse ranging from listening, organizational development to serving as a sounding board for me. My interpretation is that board members' areas of expertise are not connected to specific BOD objectives/development.


Q #2 - What tools do you utilize to communicate with VMBA stakeholders?


All avenues to communicate were shared. The most popular was email - the most preferred was in person conversations.


Q #3 - How have you engaged on VMBA's behalf?

Louise - social media, supported fundraiser/retreat, ambassador program, consistent sounding board, and grass roots communicator

Ed - Nat'l Trail Day, science on the green, "outdoor family"

Holly - trail day, events, IMBA trail clinic, and highlights public land relationship

Scott - chapter communications, supports meetings, communicates with local shops, working on corporate relationship, and with Fish & Wildlife

Paul - VYCC support of trails and training and promoting diverse trail users to garner larger support

Berne - grassroots communicator, editor, develops sponsors, web site, BOD member recruitment, and has connected a "conservation" perspective on VMBA development


Q #5 (#4 was wrapped up in #3) - What is the biggest barrier to communicating with VMBA stakeholders?


The overwhelming commonality among responses was TIME.


Q #6 - How can you overcome these barriers?


Berne - Trifold brochure, solid sponsorship proposal, and business cards

Ed - Access to 52 state parks and trailhead kiosks

Holly - Needs promotional materials

Scott - Business cards

BOD Annual Giving

It is important that VMBA has 100% participation in annual giving from the board. At the retreat, we established May 15th as the deadline for BOD contributions - let's shoot for the 20th. Thank you in advance for your dedication and commitment to the association.