Riveredge Nature Center - 2015 Nonprofit Excellence Award - Board Governance
When the Riveredge Nature Center Board of Directors took on the task of transforming the organization’s structure and setting the stage for future growth and impact, they thought big. They thought so big that they named the plan the Big Riveredge Audacious Goal.
That’s BRAG for short, and a year and a half after the process began the results are plenty to brag about.
The board set a forward thinking goal that didn’t just command attention – it required and inspired active participation at every level of the organization. Here’s the Big Riveredge Audacious Goal: “Riveredge will become the leading Midwest destination for learning, discovering, and experiencing the interconnections between nature and society. We will create partnerships which transform the culture of our formal education systems, communities and lifestyles.”
Through the process to create the BRAG, the board led, participated in and reviewed several analysis projects. A sustainability matrix was used to evaluate all programs in the contexts of mission impact and financial solvency. Visits were made to other leading environmental nonprofits in the Midwest. Statistics from comparable organizations were compiled and used to evaluate the Riveredge metrics.
The resulting action plan allows Riverdge to not only increase its impact, but also to become sustainable on the financial side within three years. In March 2015, the board of directors approved the action plan. It includes investment of 16% of Riveredge’s non-endowed investments for three years to help make the BRAG a reality.
As the award nominator said, “When you walk into Riveredge today, you sense the energy, the drive, the passion and the optimism of the staff and volunteers. The Board of Directors is to thank for this change. It is because they believed in, trusted, and supported the organization and staff that this transformation has been possible.”
Past Excellence in Board Governance winners:
Meta House (2014) ~ The Parenting Network (2012)
21st Spirit of the Nonprofit Sector Celebration
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