2024 NARSOL and Vivante boards gather for plotting out future growth and success
By Sandy . . . January 5 – 7 the board directors of NARSOL and its foundation Vivante Espero gathered in Boston, Massachusetts, for its annual strategic planning retreat. All of the combined fourteen directors were in attendance, eleven in person and three by Zoom. During these yearly events, the boards map out their advocacy priorities for the coming year, set deadlines, and assign tasks.
As a national civil rights advocacy group led by two boards of directors from thirteen different states, it’s vital to NARSOL’s long-term success that the directors meet face-to-face at least once a year in order to maintain the collegiality and professional cooperation that are hallmark principles of corporate governance.
NARSOL’s board retreats are anything but relaxing with sessions beginning at 9 a.m. each morning. The pace is grueling, exhausting, and sometimes intense as directors don’t always agree while discussing important matters on the agenda.
Friday was devoted to contemplating the future and where we envisioned this advocacy movement being a few years down the road. We scrutinized the statements of purpose and decided that, while we might want to do a little “wordsmithing,” they still reflect who NARSOL is and what it stands for, with both the vision and mission statements making clear our desire and purpose to see dehumanizing registries abolished and, in the meantime, to fight for the constitutional rights of citizens affected by them. We also reviewed NARSOL’s membership model and thoroughly discussed various options and possibilities related to the topic. This went into the yearly and long-range goals and target areas that were the focus of Saturday’s work.
Saturday was the longest and most intense day. The morning was spent on a variety of topics that directors and state groups had introduced throughout the year, and they were added to the long-range planning documents developed in the afternoon.
Items such as advocate training programs, an enhanced attorney partner program, membership, a timeline for litigation, mental health support, an enhanced program of partnership with other organizations, and social media are just some of the goals that were thoroughly discussed and added or retained on our yearly work chart. Directors volunteered and were assigned “ownership” of the projects they were interested in, and deadlines were set for completion.
Sunday morning was devoted to budget, donations, and expenditures for 2023 and the development of a budget for 2024. After discussing and listing each activity needed to accomplish all of the agreed-upon goals, a 2024 budget was developed.
The planning retreat ended with NARSOL’s future goals firmly in the directors’ minds and their energy renewed for the tasks of the year ahead, stronger than ever in their resolve never to give up this fight. It is important because every man, woman, and child for whom NARSOL fights is important. Its organizational goals and beliefs are important. Fighting for the dignity and the constitutional rights of all is not only important; it is the most important thing this organization will ever do.