I returned from an all-day planning session in Philadelphia on Saturday completely exhausted but also feeling a tremendous sense of accomplishment. The session was educational – especially for me since I have only recently joined the Board of Nurturing Minds (www.nurturingmindsinafrica.org). The session also allowed me to develop new friendships and deepen old ones. And we got a lot of work done!
The Development and Communications Committees held a joint planning session to kick off our strategic work for 2016. We defined messages; we established a calendar for social media that supports our fundraising initiatives and school events; we prioritized actions, debating the pros and cons of the decisions we were making. The results on the surface are a strategic framework and calendar for 2016.
But Board work is much more to me than the plans and reports. To me, volunteer work in the non-profit sector is as different and diverse as our world. Rewards are often elusive unless there is a deep personal commitment or connection with the organization’s mission. So I always make the decision of which organizations to support with my monetary giving and my time based on their mission and effectiveness.
In fact, it also happens to be the same criteria for the work I do at Opus. I need to feel a strong, compelling sense of purpose and to believe that my efforts will make a difference. As I become older, impact means more to me that some of the other considerations. How we each define impact is a topic for many more blog posts.
I chose to be considered for Board nomination to Nurturing Minds because education, and specifically girls’ education, is a fundamental area of interest for me: I’m passionate about it. The beauty of this connection is that I get back as much if not more than I put in. And one life at a time, we are changing the world. But changing the world also requires a having a clear strategy, the discipline and the ability to execute. So as a Board member, these planning sessions are essential. With ours recently completed, I feel optimistic that we have created a strategy that will lead to a successful year.
Author: Annie de Cossy