Nonprofit Retreat Week FAQ
What are Nonprofit Retreats at Omega?
Nonprofit Retreats at Omega were created in 2005. From 2005-2016, the program was named Service Week. The overall goal to support peer organizations and strengthen networks of change leaders connected to Omega and each other. Providing a self-led working retreat grant allows nonprofits to bring staff and/or board members out of their normal working environments to generate new ideas and allows participants to return to their demanding work feeling rejuvenated and re-inspired.
Each organization creates and leads its own retreat, and has access to all the amenities of Omega’s campus. Selected organizations use Nonprofit Retreat Week to develop strategic plans for the future, cultivate relationships among their board members, re-engage with their mission statements, heal organizational rifts, deepen staff commitment, and enjoy some much-needed peace and relaxation.
Invited groups cover a broad range of social, economic, and environmental issues and work at different scales across a variety of contexts. For more than a decade, we have welcomed over 300 organizations that work to create a more compassionate and sustainable world.
What does the retreat include?
The retreats 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 and is eligible for a free, one-hour consultation with the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON) while on campus.
Who designs our retreat?
Each organization designs and facilitates its own retreat according to its needs. We strongly encourage a good balance of work and relaxation.
If we are invited to Nonprofit Retreats at Omega, 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)
- Join an orientation conference call prior to the Summit designed to support preparation as well as initial connections with other participating organizations
- Share relevant information provided by Omega with participating individuals
- Ensure each individual participant calls in to register
- Participate in the entire Summit, including attending the opening
- Be prepared to introduce organization and retreat goals to other participants
- Meet with an Omega representative, if requested
- Respond promptly to three requests for written evaluative feedback immediately following the retreat and twice in the following year at 6- and 12-month intervals
What is the Strengthening Communities Summit?
The Strengthening Communities Summit prioritizes applicants that address a range of social, economic, or environmental issues in the Mid-Hudson Valley (Dutchess, Ulster, Orange, Columbia, Putnam, and Greene Counties). It is held during Memorial Day week.
What is the Women Serving Women Summit?
The Omega Women’s Leadership Center (OWLC) convenes organizations that are working to positively impact the lives of women. The Women Serving Women Summit will be by invitation only in 2017. It is held during Memorial Day week.
What about travel costs?
Selected organizations are responsible for their own transportation costs and arrangements.
How is housing arranged?
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.
The questions below relate to the Strengthening Communities Summit only.
What are your eligibility and selection criteria?
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.
Can someone provide us with assistance in completing our application?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
If we want to have a retreat with another organization, how do we indicate that on our application?
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.
What is the deadline to apply?
All completed applications must be received by the end of January. The specific deadline for each year is highlighted in the application.
When will we find out if we are accepted?
Participating organizations are notified of acceptance before the end of February.
What if I still have questions?
If your question about the Strengthening Communities Summit is not addressed in our FAQ, please contact Marta Szabo, email@example.com, 845.266.4444, ext. 403.