The Farm & Wilderness and Ninevah Foundation Board of Trustees met over the weekend of January 22-24, 2021. We participated in several activities designed to deepen our thinking about specific topics, and we passed the budget for 2021.

Our Development (Devo) team led the first activity. We have a strong giving community, and we feel so fortunate in that. What inspires friends to give, other than that they love us? How can we better cultivate a spirit of giving, whether money (making F&W one of folks’ top three giving priorities) or time? We want to put money out of its misery by giving donors avenues to put money to work.

Frances McLaughlin’s Q4 Executive Director’s report made clear that we are moving as fast as we can and as slow as we must, in many areas. We are elbow-deep in doing, and what we’re doing right now is necessary but not sufficient to sustain us in the long term. Frances focused Saturday on 2021 F&W/NF goals.

Among these questions was, “How will we develop safe, healthy, fun camps this summer?” One thing we discussed in depth was vaccinations for 2021. There is no vaccine for children at this time; what about our seasonal staff? We hope that by May or June everyone will be vaccinated, but we don’t want to be in a position of requiring something that individuals don’t have access to, or have real concerns about taking. The Board’s Risk Committee will take this up in its next monthly meeting.

Goals the Board may have for itself in 2021 are in three categories: our fiduciary goals (delivering on our mission and doing so in a financially responsible way); strategic goals; and visionary goals. We realized that the central goal for us in 2021 is building a stronger brand. We discussed our distinctiveness and our relevance.

Sam Green and Jarod Wunneburger from the Mission and Values working group led us in an activity that replicated what it is doing, as members try to better define our values as expressed in the SPICES.

The I&E activity asked, “What do the words justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion mean from the point of view of our different committees?”

The agenda also made the time for a deep dive into the topic of conservation. Thanks to F&W’s affiliation with Ninevah, we now have two arms: the conservation arm (Ninevah) and the conservation education and programming arm (the camps). How can these two arms work together more synergistically? Andy Schulz, one of our Trustees with deep roots in the Ninevah Foundation, proposed several ideas, which we happily rolled up our sleeves and considered from many angles (fundraising, risk, our brand).

We are so hopeful that our May meeting can be in Vermont, but mostly we’re really looking forward to camp reopening! In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to ask questions or send comments.

In the Light,
Kristi Webb



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