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MNF Insight: “2023 Annual Board Retreat”

Minnesota Furs just conducted its 11th annual* Board Retreat meeting and was rather successful! But first, What even is a Board retreat? Let’s talk about that!

Board of Directors?

Minnesota Furs, as you may (or may not!) know, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Meaning we need a board of directors to be operational. A board of directors for MNFurs is a group of individuals who are responsible for overseeing the organization’s operations and making key decisions on its behalf. The board is typically made up of elected or appointed members who serve as volunteers, and its role is to ensure that the organization is fulfilling its mission and meeting its goals.

The responsibilities of the board of directors for MNFurs may include setting the organization’s policies and strategy, making decisions about the budget and financial management, and evaluating the organization’s performance. The board is also responsible for overseeing the work of the organization’s staff and volunteers, and for making sure that the organization is operating in a responsible and ethical manner.

In summary, the board of directors for MNFurs serves as the governing body of the organization, and its role is to ensure that MNFurs is fulfilling its mission and meeting its goals in a responsible and effective manner.

So, what is a Board Retreat?

Group in front of a TV presentationA board of directors’ retreat is an annual event where the members of the board of directors (and other members of leadership) come together to discuss the organization’s direction, goals, and plans for the future. Our retreats are typically held away from regular environment, such as at a retreat center or a hotel, and is designed to provide a focused setting for the board members to engage in strategic thinking and planning.

The goals of a board of directors retreat common objectives include:

  • Reviewing the organization’s performance over the past year and setting goals for the future
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the board’s governance practices and making changes as needed
  • Building relationships and improving communication among board members
  • Developing a shared understanding of the organization’s mission, vision, and values
  • Identifying and addressing challenges facing the organization
  • Brainstorming new ideas and strategies for advancing the organization’s mission

A typical retreat lasts two to three days, and includes a mix of formal meetings, group discussions, policy deep-dives and activities. The format and content of the retreat will depend on the specific needs and goals of the organization and its board of directors.

What was discussed this year’s Board Retreat?

A lot of things! A majority of the core topics were:

  • Streamlining Event Submissions & Communication
  • Membership Maintenance Items
  • Discord workflows
  • Volunteer Hour Tracking
  • Furry Migration 2024 and beyond
  • Picnics for Spring 2023, Fall 2023, and Spring 2024.
  • Budgets (MNFurs, Midwinter Frolic, and Furry Migration)
  • Operational Document Review
    • Code Of Conduct
    • Bylaws
    • Articles of Incorporation
    • FM & Midwinter Frolic Charter
  • Partnership Agreements
  • Staff Onboarding & Offboarding

How do I get involved?

We’re always looking for more one-off volunteers at events, staff members with a department focus, or board members!

A group photo of all 13 retreat participants

A group photo of all 13 retreat participants

Short Term Volunteering

We post needs for volunteers at events like Oval Meets, Picnics and Romps on our social media. Finding a staff member at an event and mentioning you want to help also works!

Staff Positions

We’re evolving our staff needs in various departments. Check out our Help wanted page. If your interest is more in the convention or Midwinter frolic, Checkout their respective websites. https://furrymigration.org/ & https://www.midwinterfrolic.org/

Board/Director Positions

Our election cycle for 2024-2025 board members will be opening up around Q4 (October) this year. Keep an eye on our website, and social media for updates, and how to nominate yourself or someone you think would be a good fit.


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If the Plus One is for an MNFurs member, they need to RSVP themselves.