Mary Theroux, NAB

It is of course a vitally important first step for new Advisory Board members to be taken on a tour of all of your local facilities and programs — the only way to really get a grasp on the incredible myriad ways your local Salvation Army Does the Most Good! But it’s an equally good idea to take your entire Advisory Board on a “refresher” tour every year or so, to keep the members up to date and in touch with what’s going on in your community and corps.

Our San Francisco Metro Advisory Board chartered a bus, and a good majority of our board members devoted an entire day for a fun and enlightening tour: from the ARC to the Chinatown corps, it’s great to see first-hand all the wonderful work being done. At each stop, officers and staff can also let the board know about their particular triumphs, accomplishments, and challenges. Your officers and troops on the ground will appreciate knowing the board is there to help, and this helps plant fresh ideas for ways the board can better provide support and move the mission. And, of course, it wouldn’t be the Army without a good lunch stop! Our former chairman even brought along his guitar, and as the tour wound down led the whole bus in a rousing rendition of “Kumbala” (pretty good for an investment banker)!

It’s a great way to build board solidarity, help your board remain in touch with the needs and opportunities at the corps level, and show support to your clients, officers, soldiers and employees. So, get on the bus!