St. Paul, Minnesota

With new executive and board leadership at the helm in early 2020, the time was right for the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota (EFMN) to transform its board and equip them to be a best-in-class board of directors. Given the critical role volunteer leadership plays in advancing an organization’s mission, for any kind of transformational and lasting evolution to occur, the board had to play an active role in designing that future state. EFMN understood that strengthening the board first would lay the foundation to move the organization forward in both its strategic planning and building a culture of philanthropy.

Transforming the board meant rethinking recruitment and establishing engagement expectations. BWF conducted strategic working sessions with EFMN’s executive leaders and executive committee members of the board. In addition, a board survey was conducted to gather opinions and insights prior to two strategy sessions, which together looked at the challenges and opportunities of the current board and identified recommendations to create a new vision and future state for EFMN.

When taking on the responsibility as a board and executive leadership team to lead this organization, we asked what our mission demands of us in this moment. It’s hard to challenge mission when you don’t have great organizational alignment. BWF had the right experts who designed a shared vision of what our success could look like and then helped us get there. Our strategic planning work in 2021 came about because we were courageous in 2020 and did that important foundational work.
Glen Lloyd
CEO/Executive Director • Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota

EFMN used that vision to create a new governance structure, recruit new board members, and energize existing members. The transformed board now understands what it will take to move the organization forward, and board members serve as the organization’s best ambassadors and are giving more than before. Because every board member raised their individual level of giving, their collective philanthropy has made EFMN stronger and their work more impactful.

Today, the board has doubled in size, expanding with an eye to being more representative of the populations the organization serves and to recruiting board members who understand the role and reach of their own philanthropy. EFMN’s strategic planning work in 2021 was even more successful because of the critical work done in transforming the board the year before.

EFMN utilized the leadership development service offered by BWF. To learn more about this solution, click here.