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A Message from the ARNOVA President, Mary Tschirhart

Wednesday, May 23, 2018   (1 Comments)
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Dear ARNOVA Members,


Last week, the board met for its two-day retreat and we made a variety of decisions in our governance and strategic role.  As part of a developing communications plan, we will give members a report after each board meeting to inform you of our outcomes, actions, and plans. Here are some highlights from the retreat demonstrating the board’s commitment to advancing ARNOVA’s mission and stewarding its resource. 

  • We have a clean financial audit and are financially stable.  Our membership fees cover a lower proportion of our expenses than the industry average due to our success in receiving external grants and donations, keeping conference costs low (we don’t make a profit) and returns from our publication.  Our audit is available on our website.
  • We reviewed the results of the membership survey and other forms of member input and have already started to make changes in response to member preferences and ideas.  Overall, survey respondents are very satisfied with the association. A survey report will be on our website and key findings presented at the Austin conference.
  • We voted on a revised policy manual that incorporates our redesigned procedures and policies to encourage member involvement and other positive outcomes.  For example, now a committee sets up the subcommittees for our research awards to ensure broader member representation.
  • We added new mechanisms to enhance our services including establishing a Professional Development Committee.  Current programs under this committee include the Emerging Scholars Professional Development Program, Graduate Diversity Leaders and Scholars, Undergraduate Diversity Fellowships, Doctoral Fellowship Program, and Emerging Scholars and Travel and Conference Scholarship Programs. 
  • We discussed possible new policies and drafts of policies for conference site selection and gift acceptance to add to the manual.
  • The editors of Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly updated the board on the journal and we strategized on how to continue to encourage high quality submissions and reviews.  We discussed NVSQ’s contributions to field-building and its rising impact factor.
  • We voted to pilot a mentoring program to start in 2019.  We’ll be reaching out to identify members who wish to be involved in the pilot.
  • We reaffirmed the small diversity grant program, tweaking the language in the Request for Proposals to encourage more members to share their ideas for use of this pool of resources.   
  • We brainstormed conference innovations to enhance learning, networking and new activities for reflecting upon and celebrating diversity and inclusion.  We also discussed ways to collect our members’ memories about and dreams for ARNOVA as we plan for our 50th anniversary in 2021. 
  • After discussion of our fee structure and ideas from members on potential changes, we asked for more work on this structure and voted to keep the fee the same for those who renew prior to year-end and raise it by an average of 3% for those who do join or renew in 2019.   The student dues will remain the same in 2018-2019.
  • Board elections will happen this summer.  We approved a slate of nominees and developed a board job description for the open positions. We encourage all to vote in the upcoming election.
  • Throughout the two days of our retreat, we kept in mind our strategic plan (approved in 2017) and encouraged measurement of our performance as an association. We’ll be expanding our ad hoc Evaluation Committee with the desire to have a formal evaluation of all our programs and a comprehensive financial analysis and forecast by the next retreat to share with you in November 2019.

In less than six months, I’ll see many members at our November conference. I also may see you in June for the second annual ARNOVA-Asia conference or in July with AROCSA members in Cairo, Egypt. The meetings offer us innovative opportunities for networking, knowledge sharing and dialogue.  At our Austin conference membership meeting, I’ll join with our Executive Director to update you on how we have grown and excelled as an association over the last two years. There is much good news to report.  


My time as Board President will end in November.  It is an honor to serve you in this role.  I cannot find the words to express how impressed I am with the deep caring and joy that ARNOVA volunteers and staff bring to their roles.  I left the retreat highly energized by all the ideas generated and the progress made.  As always, I would like to hear from you with your thoughts on how we can enhance the achievement of our mission.  Please contact me or the ARNOVA staff if you wish to play a more active part in this endeavor.




Mary Tschirhart

ARNOVA Board President

Professor, Glenn College, The Ohio State University     



Okezie J. Kelechukwu says...
Posted Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Dear Present, I am excited to be admitted into the ARNOVA membership. The few moments spent going through the web content and your speeches are times well spent and quite enriching. I wish you all the best as I look forward to meeting and interacting with you in person at the ARNOVA AROCSA conference in Egypt.

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