Thursday, July 30, 2009

Donalda Club Gets it Right

Quick thanks to Martyn B. for hosting us at Donalda yesterday.

The latest improvements to the Club are impressive and well done.

Donalda has been true to its mission of "providing a high quality, well managed, family oriented golf and multi-activity country club in the city of Toronto that provides year round recreational and social activities to meet the needs of its members".

Keeping a club like Donalda on track isn't easy. With volunteer Boards of Directors and Presidents being elected directly from the membership (independent directors? it's more like having your employees be your Board) - frequently from a population that is aging, and not necessarily with any experience in strategic or long range planning - leadership and decision making can be daunting. Who wants to be the President who raises fees to build the new club house, then golfs with his/her buddies on Tuesday mornings?

Like any organization, having a clear mission is clearly helpful. Donalda's mission to be both family oriented and to provide other activities besides golf has helped ensure a young, vibrant and capable membership with strong vested interests in looking to the future. It's paid off in terms of membership and revenue. Downturn? There hasn't been one.

Donalda's experience probably makes an interesting case study in private club governance, direction setting and execution. I know a Director or two who would benefit from a quick drive down the Don Valley to check it out.

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