Sabbaticals: A Way to Strengthen Individual & Organizational Capacity (April 2023)
In February 2020, after a healthy discussion about the purpose and the possible impacts, the Foundation’s Board approved a sabbatical of up to six weeks for me. In discussing the rationale for the sabbatical, we agreed that it offered benefits on two levels – for me as an individual who gets time away to reflect and explore, and for the Staff and Board who will have an opportunity to take on additional kuleana and to learn in my absence. We also thought it would help to surface any gaps in knowledge that should be addressed in the coming months before I eventually transition from my role as executive director. All that was great…I imagined what my journey might look like, and then there was COVID-19.
Despite the long delay and my planned departure from my role at the Foundation at the end of October 2023, the Board urged me to move forward on my plans to take the sabbatical. It is now official. I will be away from the office from April 24th through the end of May.
There is some good data on the value of sabbaticals in the nonprofit sector. The Durfee Foundation is recognized for its twenty-year retrospective study
on the impact of sabbaticals on both individuals and organizations in the nonprofit sector. If you have never considered the value of sabbaticals, perhaps this will give you some new information and ideas.
We are hoping the sabbatical will offer a chance to test out a new practice that may be of interest and value to others, to reflect and learn from the experience, and to share some of those learnings with others. I look forward to sharing some insights with you later this summer after I’ve returned and the Staff, Board and I have a chance to reflect, debrief and assess.