BOT Summer Annual Meeting

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Whitney is giving the rundown on the August Board of Trustees meeting and trust me, our folks work just as hard as they play! Read more about their weekend which included a thank-a-thon (in realtime) and tour of SIMMS HQ with reception. Whitney has lots to tell about the CfR work that’s getting done below.

The Casting for Recovery national Board of Trustees meets 4 times per year – twice in person, and twice via conference call. We were psyched to hold our Summer Annual Meeting at the new home office in Bozeman, MT, August 4 – 5, 2018. Here are a few highlights from a fun and productive board meeting.

First, it’s important to note that in addition to giving their time and expertise, all board members are responsible for covering the cost of their travel to attend board meetings. I always like to mention this because I think it demonstrates their commitment to CfR and the board’s dedication to fiscal responsibility.

10 board members arrived in Bozeman, MT from all across the country – Alabama, Texas, New York, Colorado and beyond! Our friends at SIMMS generously hosted a tour and reception for board members, staff and local supporters on Friday, August 3. Did you know that SIMMS is the ONLY wader manufacturer in the United States? The tour was fascinating and fun, setting a great tone for the weekend.

SIMMS factory tour images above with Mary Turney (bottom right), ChairPerson for CfR Board.


The board met in The Cannery District, where CfR’s new HQ is located. The focus for our Annual Summer Meeting this year was building a new strategic plan for the organization. We started bright and early at 8am on Saturday, August 4, with a review of our 2017 Audited Financial Statements, Annual Report, and current year financials through the second quarter. Our 2017 audited financials demonstrate an expense breakdown we’re proud of: 85% of each dollar was applied to program services, 10% to fundraising, and just 5% to administrative costs.

We moved on to marketing strategy and program highlights, including a summary for the board of new program launches, trainings, specialty programs and retreat evaluations to date. A few key points:

  • Lise has developed a new strategic marketing plan aimed at capturing more of the fun and energy that happens at retreats. New marketing tactics were created with the goal of showcasing the retreat experience in a way that inspires support and connection, and captures the magic of CfR.
  • Participant evaluations to date demonstrated:
    • 100% would recommend the program to other women with BC
    • 98.3% said they received new ideas or resources to improve their quality of life
    • 96.6% said they improved their support base and gained new friends
    • 96.6% said the retreat inspired them to include more outdoor activities at home

Next, I led a review of our National Sponsors, new sponsor prospects, and our remaining fundraising strategy for 2018. National Sponsors make a financial commitment of $10k or more annually, to support national operations. You can check our our current sponsors HERE. After review of our current fundraising strategy, we discussed the importance of donor stewardship. We reviewed our current donor retention and attrition rates, and made a collective commitment to improving donor stewardship and retention. The board spent the next 30 minutes in a live ‘Thank-a-thon’! Each board member was given a list of recent donors, and made a personal call to thank each individual on their list. It was a fun and impactful experience, and one we’ll continue to do at each board meeting moving forward. Some board members spoke with retreat alumnae, who had made a donation to ‘pay it forward’ after having meaningful experiences at the retreat themselves. Board members felt humbled and inspired by their stories and their generosity in giving back.

The bulk of the afternoon was spent in an interactive Strategic Planning session. The board broke into small groups to discuss CfR’s current and future strategy, then came back together to work collectively on identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. This SWOT analysis will help us build a strategic plan for CfR’s growth and sustainability.

We wrapped up the meeting at 5pm and headed to a casual group dinner in downtown Bozeman.

The board reconvened at 8am the next morning, with election of officers. CfR’s Board of Trustees appoints four officers: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. All current officers were re-elected for another year. Mary Turney is our board Chair, Brenda Towell is the Vice Chair, Kate Watson is the Secretary and Anson Marcotte serves as the Treasurer. You can view all board bios on the website HERE.

Committee updates were next. The board has four standing committees including Nominating and Governance, Medical/Psychosocial, Personnel and Administration, and Audit, Finance and Legal. All board members are asked to serve on at least one standing committee.

Finally, the board reviewed the strategic planning work done the day before, prioritizing elements, vetting key issues, and creating a plan for next steps. The meeting adjourned at 11:30. In closing, I’d like to emphasize an important theme from this meeting – all board members are sincerely committed to providing communication, transparency and support to our amazing volunteers, our dedicated donors, and our inspiring participants. If you would like to speak to a member of the board, or have any questions you would like shared at the next board meeting, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me!

Tight Lines,


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