Strengthening Your Board

Strong historical societies begin with a strong board.  What does your board need to know to over-perform, and what are the pitfalls that your board wants to avoid?  In a topic-by-topic conversation, this session takes board leaders through the major issues your historical society either faces or will face. 

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Strategic Planning: How to Achieve Your Vision

Ralph Thomas - San Dimas Historical Society
Friday, June 24 - 9 a.m.-10:15 a.m.

Planning is the key to the success of any organization.  A plan helps your organization preserve local history and makes it more responsive to the community.  Learn how planning can help your organization improve its effectiveness and address the challenges you face.  Workshop topics will include: Why have a strategic plan, the difference between a mission and a vision, components of a strategic plan and how to get started.

Financial Responsibility

Avi Pai - LPL Financial
Friday, June 24 - 10:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

Historical Societies operating between $50,000 and $200,000 in revenue receive 17% of their income through investment returns, while historical societies with budgets less than $50,000 earn less than 1% through investment returns.  If you are a board member who is currently earning substantial returns, learn what you should be aware of and how to align your investments with your goals. If you are an organization that is sitting on uninvested cash, Avi will discuss how investing can help your organization further its missions.


Julie Dobrick - Senior Grant Writer, AltaMed Health Services
Friday, June 24 - 2:00 p.m.-3:15 p.m.

No money, no mission.  In order to do the wonderful things that your community expects from your historical society, you need funds.  How are you going to raise those funds?  What are some successful, tried and true tactics that can help your historical society bring in new donors, new dollars and strengthen your programs?  Secondly, what is expected of you as a board member?  Should you have to reach into your pocket book (yes), and should you need to hit up your friends (yes, when appropriate)?  Julie will discuss what your responsibility should be as a board member in driving the funding of your organization.

The Staff and Board Relationship

David Shearer- Executive Director, Claremont Heritage
Friday, June 24 - 3:30 p.m.-4:45 p.m.

The Staff/Board Relationship is a key driver of the organization.  In a simple world, staff is merely the arm that executes the board's vision.  However, boards who hire well choose staff with expertise.  Therefore, the relationship has a strong advisory role, with staff leading boards through complex decisions.  This session will focus on best practices in managing an Executive Director and what you should expect from a strong Executive.

Governance & By-Laws

John Lenau - President, Conference of California Historical Societies; President, Wrightwood Historical Society
Saturday, June 25th - 9 a.m.-10:15 a.m.

Governance is the process of providing strategic leadership to a non-profit organization, and proper governance is the key to attracting the Board members you want.  By-laws are your organization's operating manual defining everything from the size of the Board, procedures for holding meetings, and the roles and duties of directors and officers.  This session will focus on how to best make the by-laws work for your organization, keep Board members focused on the necessary goals, and more.

Leadership Development

Saturday, June 25 - 10:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

Your historical society is only as good as its leadership.  Developing your pipeline of leaders creates a stronger historical society and a more prominent place in your community.

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