Introduction to an Issue Focus Board Retreat

The first step in adopting an issue focus is to bring your board and staff up-to-speed about the idea of an issue focus, and to discuss and determine if an issue focus is right for your United Way.

This is where we come in – literally.

As your Issue-Focused Consultants, we will visit your United Way and introduce your board and staff to the idea of an issue focus during our Introduction to an Issue Focus Board Retreat.

The goal of our Introduction to an Issue Focus Board Retreat is for your board and staff to have an informed and meaningful discussion about whether an issue focus is right for your United Way. We will share a quick overview of community impact, and provide numerous examples of how United Ways have implemented community impact in different ways across the country. We will explain how impact/investment, resource development, and marketing/engagement are very different in issue-focused United Ways compared to fundraising-focused United Ways.

During our Introduction to an Issue Focus Board Retreat, your board and staff will learn how your United Way can take community impact further to grow your donors, attract new resources, and focus your message. We will have a conversation about where you are at on your community impact journey and next steps to take in moving toward an issue focus.

There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion among your board and staff about the ideas and information we present during our Introduction to an Issue Focus Board Retreat. Most United Ways reserve four hours for our Introduction to an Issue Focus Board Retreat.

After our Introduction to an Issue Focus Board Retreat, your board will need time to think about the ideas and information we presented before voting on whether or not an issue focus is the right direction for your United Way.

Once your board votes to move forward with an issue focus, the next step will be to begin our Direction-Setting process, which will guide your United Way in adopting an issue focus and will bring your board, staff, volunteers, donors, community, partner agencies, and top campaigns along in the process.

Perspectives was instrumental in clarifying in the board’s mind exactly what an issue-focused United Way looks like, what it does, the way it talks, and how it looks – as opposed to the old, transactional model.
— Randy Franke, CEO, United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley
I do appreciate the conversation that you have been able to start within our organization. This is not conversation that could have been initiated or directed by staff, so your insightful and skilled methods for getting the board engaged in the discussion have been much appreciated. I wish you could have talked to our board and staff three years ago.
— Kimm Leininger, Executive Director, United Way Services of Geauga County
I feel this was a great experience for all of our staff and board members. It wasn’t boring and really pointed out how the story of the United Way needs to be told. Gave great ideas of moving forward and not backward.
— Germaine Stoppa, Executive Director, United Way of Northeast Michigan
The retreat was a great use of time and resources and I’d highly recommend you to other United Ways.”
— Shane J. Orr, Executive Director, United Way of Muscatine