Thank you to Saint Vincent’s Day Home

I had the opportunity to spend Saturday with the Board of Directors of the Saint Vincent’s Day Home, facilitating their annual board retreat.  If you don’t know about the great work of the Day Home, you should.  They are a child development center in West Oakland, where they have been serving the needs of children of low-income families for over 100 years, in the same Victorian house where the Day Home was founded in 1911.  Former Oakland mayor, and now California Governor Jerry Brown had it right when he said that “Saint Vincent’s Day Home is one of the jewels in Oakland’s crown.”  The Day Home provides comprehensive child development programs and a wide range of family services, and they are a blessing to our community.

As for the Day Home’s board, well, they’re terrific too.  Committed to the work of the Day Home, supportive of the staff, and eager to learn how they can be of even more strategic value to the Day Home, they tackled a board development self-assessment tool on Saturday with great gusto.  We ended the retreat with some work on elevator stories – the short, unique story board members share with others when they have a chance to spread the word about Saint Vincent’s.  As those of us who’ve served on non-profit boards know, fundraising is a key responsibility, and it’s not easy after the Great Recession.  I like the saying that “fundraising begins with friendraising,” and elevator stories are a critical first step toward “friendraising.”

Let me know if you want to hear some of the elevator stories about the Day Home – they’ll have you at “hello!”

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