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2018 Courage to Lead Retreat

Tuesday, June 12, 2018, 12:00 pm until Wednesday, June 13, 2018, 12:00 pm EST
1 day

Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. NOTE: This retreat will take place immediately prior to the Southeastern Council of Foundations Family Foundations Forum so you can conveniently attend both!

Who should attend

Family philanthropy leaders, including family and non-family CEOs, board chairs, and other family members serving in a leadership position.


This intimate retreat, limited to 25 current leaders (CEOs, board chairs, and other family leaders) and co-sponsored with the Southeastern Council of Foundations, provides a unique opportunity to discuss fundamental questions of leadership, impact, sustainability and self-care. The retreat will include time for individual reflection and small group dialogue to explore together “habits of the heart” that tap into one's inner wisdom, courage, hope, and hopelessness. The retreat is based on the work of Parker Palmer, noted author and co-founder of the Center for Courage and Renewal


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

10:30 am                Registration opens

11:30–12:45 pm    Lunch and informal gathering time

1:00–5:30 pm        Connecting and Resetting Our Hearts and Heads: Individual and group reflections on ways in which our hearts are being broken in these demanding times and ‘habits of the heart’ for responsive engagement. Some questions we may consider:

  • What is the meaning of my leadership and philanthropy in this time of crisis and incivility?
  • What does it mean to be a “helper” in this culture?
  • How do I hold my deep concern for grantee partners in life-giving ways?
  • What risks am I being called to take, what’s holding me back, and where do I find courage to engage the uncomfortable? 

Individual and group reflections will be taking place during the day.

5:30 pm                 Adjourn for no-host dinner

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

8:30 am                 Breakfast available

9:00 am                 Re-Opening the Circle: Holding the tension between “what is” and “what could be” 

  •  Check in on yesterday
  •  Introduction to paradox and tension-holding
  •  Individual and group reflections on holding tensions between harsh realities and hopeful possibilities in our leadership and work. 

11:00 am               Closing Circle: What about my experience here do I bring home? 

12:00 pm               Adjourn

NOTE: Please also consider making plans to attend SECF's Family Foundations Forum to be held immediately after the retreat from June 13-15! NCFP friends will receive member pricing to this event, a signature opportunity for family members, staff and trustees to come together, make connections, and spark collaborations!

Event downloads

What participants said:

Many, many thanks for bringing in the Center for Courage and Renewal! This 1.5 day session has been a tremendous opportunity to reflect that I never have (or take time for). One of the best sessions I’ve attended!

Past Courage to Lead Retreat Attendee

Intense, thoughtful, emotional. It was great to connect with peers who are going through similar life-changes and exploring similar life-questions about work, relationships, wellness, and the challenge of balancing it all.

Past Participant, Courage to Lead Retreat
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