Investing in Renewal: The Benefits and Challenges of a CEO Sabbatical

Tuesday, June 18, 2013
1:30pm EDT
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Working as a grantmaker is a privilege and can be immensely gratifying - but it is nonetheless hard work. As is the case for all leaders in the social sector, opportunities for grantmakers to step back and re-think are rare.  Absent those opportunities, it can be a personal and professional challenge to stay fresh, recognize important changes, challenge your own assumptions and continually adjust your work as a grantmaker.

One way to prompt some fresh thinking is to take a page from higher education, which provides regular professional renewal through sabbaticals. Heather Arnet, CEO of Women and Girls Foundation of SW Pennsylvania, will return from a six-month sabbatical in early July. She has spent her time producing a documentary film that will explore the role of female leadership in Brazil -- a very different cultural and political environment from the US.

A CEO sabbatical is also a unique opportunity for senior managers and board members to step up, take on new responsibilities, and to work creatively together to fulfill the organization's mission. Join GWP to hear about Heatherfs experience, followed by a frank discussion of the pros and cons of sabbaticals for foundation leaders and for the nonprofit organizations in which they invest. Tara Simmons, WGF's Vice President and Jui Joshi, WGF's Director of Philanthropic Engagement will also be on hand to share their experiences during their CEO's sabbatical.