SITUATION | Blue Lotus Farm and Retreat Center serves hundreds of special needs children, adults and seniors in a day camp-like setting. Clients enjoy a variety of nature activities designed to promote self-expression, build confidence, and rejuvenate the body, mind, and soul.
TASK | Blue Lotus needed help navigating the transition from being completely volunteer-driven to hiring staff. Susan Bliffert, volunteer Executive Director and one of the founders, was risking burnout.
ACTION | Sara conducted a capacity analysis of staff functions and programs to determine where time and resources were being spent and by whom. This analysis revealed the organization needed to add two to three full-time staff members. MWA guided the transition from an all-volunteer to a staffed organization by creating critical documents—job descriptions, personnel policies and an operations manual—before any employees were hired; facilitating transition conversations with the board and volunteer executive, and providing guidance on interviewing.
“The whole process was really positive and uplifting and successful.”
RESULT | “MWA came at a very critical juncture for us, where it was either grow or stop here. We needed to be in a place where someone else could step in or be hired and, with MWA’s guidance, we’ve achieved that foundation of sustainability,” Said Bliffert. In fact, Blue Lotus was so happy with the results that they brought MWA back to provide board development guidance. MWA analyzed current versus needed board composition, developed processes and educated the board on strategic recruitment approaches. It also provided an onboarding process for new board members and evaluated board performance.
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