Q: What are Nonprofit Retreats at Omega?
A:
Nonprofit Retreats at Omega began in 2005.  From 2005-2016, the program was named Omega Service Week. The overall goal to support peer organizations actively working toward needed changes in the world and strengthen networks of change leaders connected to Omega and each other. Providing a self-led working retreat grant allows nonprofits to bring staff, board members, volunteers and constituents out of normal working environments to generate new ideas and allows participants to return to the demands of their daily lives feeling rejuvenated and re-inspired.

Each invited organization creates and leads its own self-led working retreat, using the facilities and accessing the amenities of Omega’s campus. Nonprofits have used the opportunity to cultivate relationships, discuss challenges, re-engage with shared purpose, generate ideas, develop plans, foster leadership, heal organizational rifts, deepen commitment, and enjoy some much-needed peace and relaxation.

Q: Who participates?
A:
Invited organizations work at different scales across the spectrum of social, economic, and environmental issues in the Mid-Hudson Valley region, across the country, and around the globe. Since 2005, Nonprofit Retreats at Omega have directly supported more than 300 organizations and over 5,000 dedicated participants who work to create a more compassionate and sustainable world and, in aggregate, touch more than a million people.

Q: What does the retreat include?
A:
The retreat takes place on Omega’s beautiful campus over the course of three days and two nights and includes: meeting space for three half-day sessions, simple accommodations, meals, and access to all campus amenities. Omega provides an opening gathering and opportunities for networking, including during mealtimes and breaks. Each organization designs its own retreat according to its needs. 

Q: Who designs our retreat?
A:
Each organization designs and facilitates its own retreat according to its needs. We strongly encourage a good balance of work and relaxation. 

Q: If we are invited to participate, what do we agree to?

  • Plan and facilitate an organizational retreat that balances working with time to rest and strengthen relationships
  • Participate in Omega’s publicity and funding efforts, as requested (e.g. providing photos, quotes, mission descriptions, impact stories, or sharing information via email and/or social media)
  • Share relevant information provided by Omega with participating individuals
  • Ensure each individual participant calls in to register
  • Meet with an Omega representative, if requested
  • Respond promptly to requests to complete online evaluation surveys, generally sent immediately following the retreat and up to twice in the following year at 6- and 12-month intervals

If participation is in a Summit:

  • Join an orientation conference call prior to the Summit designed to support preparation as well as initial connections with other participating organizations
  • Participate in the entire Summit, including attending the opening
  • Be prepared to introduce organization and retreat goals to other participants

Q: What are Strengthening Communities Summits?
A:
Strengthening Communities Summits prioritize applicants that address a range of social, economic, or environmental issues in the Mid-Hudson Valley (Dutchess, Ulster, Orange, Columbia, Putnam, and Greene Counties). 

Q:What is the Women Serving Women Summit?
A:
The Omega Women’s Leadership Center (OWLC) convenes organizations that are working to positively impact the lives of women. The Women Serving Women Summit is by invitation only in 2017. 

Q: What about travel costs?
A:
Selected organizations are responsible for their own transportation costs and arrangements.

Q: How is housing arranged?
A:
Each person taking part in your organization’s retreat must individually call Omega Registration to receive her or his housing assignment. Rooms are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.

Q: What are your eligibility and selection criteria?
A:
Any nonprofit organization may apply. We are seeking organizations that can demonstrate their alignment with Omega, are poised to take advantage of networking opportunities, are actively addressing systemic inequality, and will make the best use of, and benefit most from, this opportunity. These tend to be organizations that have identified goals for themselves—such as strategic planning, cultivating leadership, and deepening staff commitment—and are prepared to work on them in a retreat setting.

Q: Can someone provide us with assistance in completing our application?
A:
For assistance on how to best complete your application, you are welcome to set up a free, half-hour consultation with NYCON by emailing Doug Sauer, NYCON’s chief executive officer at dsauer@nycon.org.

Q: If we want to have a retreat with another organization, how do we indicate that on our application?
A:
Your organization can apply to come on its own, or you can come in partnership with other organization(s) by checking the box for the Multiple Organization Track on the application. If you are coming in partnership, each organization completes its own application and indicates the other organization(s) with which it is applying.

Q: What is the deadline to apply?
A:
All completed applications are due by the end of January. The specific deadline for each year is highlighted in the application.

Q: When will we find out if we are accepted?
A:
Participating organizations are notified of acceptance before the end of February.

Q: What if I still have questions?  
A:
If your question is not addressed in our FAQ, please contact: 

For Strengthening Communities Summits:
By email: martas@eOmega.org 
By phone: 845.266.4444, ext. 403
 
For Women Serving Women Summit: 
By email: OWLCcommunity@eOmega.org 
By phone: 845.266.4444, ext. 414