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March 2017 Board Meeting Recap from Board Chair, Bob Duncan

Dear Members of Friendship Force,

In many ways this recent meeting of the International Board of Directors was routine. Minutes were reviewed and approved, the Board reviewed the financial and programmatic health of the organization and passed associated business motions. A little less routine, however, was the way by which the Board prepared for this particular meeting and the types of discussions we engaged in.

Let’s take care of the routine…

  • The Board received a report on the financial health of the organization for 2016, noting that the staff were able finish the year lean and positive. Details of which to be shared in the upcoming 2016 Annual Report to membership.
  • The Board welcomed Ramona McGee to the new position of Treasurer.
  • There was ample discussion on the status of the new database and applauded the work done by FFI staff in the wake of the previous database failure.
  • For both financial and logistical reasons, the Board approved the reduction of the overall Board size by two, bringing the total from 13 to 11.

A little less routine was the general format of the meeting…

In an attempt to utilize technology to help increase communication amongst Board Members and make decision-making more efficient, Board members participated in a series of online discussion in advance of the meeting. This allowed for more thorough discussion on FFI operations and more time between presentations to ask additional clarifying questions. It also allowed for the Board to dedicate more time while meeting in person for engagement in rich, strategic discussion on the future of the organization.

  • The Board discussed an update to the current strategic plan to include goals and measures linked to the vision of the organization outlined at the Morocco World Conference in 2015. Details on progress to be shared at the Manchester World Conference this August, with a communication to membership shortly thereafter.
  • A meaningful discussion was had on the governance responsibilities of the Board and the need for greater communication on organizational progress. This lead to the endorsement for the creation of a new governance page to be added the website that does a better job of public disclosure of how FFI works, the purpose of the Board approved committees, legal documents and financial disclosures.
  • Subsequent to a discussion on world events and FFI’s mission was a unanimous decision to publicly publish a joint statement from the CEO and the Board of Directors on the importance of our mission in today’s society.
  • Finally, the Board voted to make giving a requirement of Board Members, highlighting the important role that the FFI Board play in leading fund development efforts.

In friendship,

Bob Duncan, Chair, FFI Board of Directors