Please review the Portfolio for specific examples and Testimonials for recommendations of the services offered. Contact Michael Shermis (812-340-0479) to discuss specifics on how the following services can be applied to helping your organization. For Michael Shermis’ resumé


Specific Services

Story Insights proposes board development through several phases. If this list seems overwhelming, consider that doing any of these things at all is a great start and can bring some new energy to a board. Or if you were thinking, we want to do all of this, but what do we do first? Then I’d say this list is in order of how I’d tackle them. But that doesn’t mean you can’t pick and choose. A good discussion before starting on any of these development strategies can ensure that we address what is most urgent first and save issues that are less pressing until you can afford to focus on them.

Note: All of these suggested meetings should involve at least the Executive Director from staff (and other staff members as appropriate).

Story Development/Storytelling
Organizations need to recognize the value of stories and employ the strategies to make their stories compelling. Together we will distinguish, discover, and develop stories for donors, volunteers, and more. The session will be both process and product oriented. The process of building a story as a collaborative exercise is a powerful way to engage staff and board. At the same time, you will come away with a product, stories that you can share with all your constituencies.
Board Commitment: Can be done with all of the staff or board or a combination.
Time Commitment: 1 meeting, ideally 3-4 hours, but can be done in much less if needed

Mission Review
While you may have it set what your mission statement is, reviewing it every 3-5 years with a new board can help get more buy-in for what it is you are trying to achieve. It might not need much more than a tweak, but if the services you offer have shifted, then it’s time to revisit.
Board Commitment: Can be done with 4-5 members (at least a couple who are veterans and one who is new to the board) or the whole board.
Time Commitment: 1 meeting, 2 hours

Vision Statement Generation
Having a “why you do what you do” decreases burnout, helps those who fund you understand how their money can make a difference, and is essential to determining your strategic plan. This is an invigorating session that helps your whole organization become more aligned.
Board Commitment: Ideally with the whole board
Time Commitment: 1 meeting, 2 hours

Board Orientation Development
While it is possible to find new folks who will agree to serve on your board, it is difficult to keep them without a good plan for orientation. Beyond a thorough manual, do you have an intentional veteran/newbie meeting set and a mentorship program organized? Determine how you can ensure you will make new members become more productive sooner in their first year.
Board Commitment: Can be done with 3-4 members (at least a couple who are veterans and one who is new to the board)
Time Commitment: 1 meeting, 2 hours

Organizational Restructuring
Ensuring that your organization is the most effective and efficient at how your committees operate can lead to more a more harmonious board experience for all involved. Keeping it simple and focused on development, finance, governance, and programs will have the board be more productive and engaged in no time.
Board Commitment: Ideally the whole board to ensure everyone is in agreement before you change how your organization does business
Time Commitment: 1 meeting, 2 hours

Board Recruitment
How do you find the right people for your board? Surprisingly enough your board members already know many of them. It’s a matter of becoming organized in your recruiting strategy. It takes a concentrated effort. But once you have that determined, you will have enough active board members to implement your strategies and take your board to the next level.
Board Commitment: Can be done with 3-4 folks who are focused on this effort
Time Commitment: 3 meetings, 2 hours each, then individualized meetings with potential recruits

Values Statement Generation
While this doesn’t have to be one of those board development strategies that you need to address right away, it’s amazing how working together over what your values are will make the board better aligned and believe in itself more, to say nothing about how it is good to know you are all guided by the same ideals. Believing in your cause isn’t all what it’s about in terms of how you agree to treat each other while riding the bus.
Board Commitment: Ideally with the whole board
Time Commitment: 1 meeting, 2 hours

Strategic Planning
While strategic planning is the most time-consuming development strategy, it is the one that will pay the largest dividends. Having a plan that helps your organization focus on what it needs to accomplish, by when, and who is doing it, all while connecting your strategies directly to your vision, will enable your board to realize its goals (“we have a plan!”).
Board Commitment: The full board needs to buy-in, then 4-5 members to make it wieldy.
Time Commitment: 1 meeting of an hour with full board, 5-7 meetings with the smaller group, 2 hours each