For general retreat inquiries, contact:

Lydian Altman
School of Government
Knapp-Sanders Building, Campus Box 3330
UNC-Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3330
T: 919.962.0103
F: 919.962.2705

If you are seeking facilitation help, please complete our short retreat intake form to help us determine the nature of your request. 

To help you consider retreat topics and begin to narrow your focus, consider the following potential retreat purposes:

Getting What You Want From Your Retreat
Potential Retreat PurposesIntended Outcome, Result
1. Strategic Planning for Organization
  • Mission, vision and values and broad goals
  • Organizational plan setting priorities for the near future (3-5 years)
2. Initiate Community Visioning Process
  • Shared vision for the future of your community
  • Community vision and priorities for achieving long-term goals (10-20 years)
3. Setting Budget Priorities
  • Determine funding priorities for annual (or capital) budget
4. Developing Policy Priorities
  • Establish priorities for policy development or revision in the coming year
5. Program Review, Evaluation
  • Evaluate effectiveness and/or efficiency of programs and services
6. Working Relationships
  • Establish common expectations for working with others
  • Strengthened abilities to work together as a team


Cost of Retreat Facilitation

The School tries to be an affordable option for local governments, using a sliding scale for daily facilitation charges that ranges from $1,725 to $1,950 (depending on a jurisdiction’s size and/or tier classification). The daily rate applies to planning and preparation time, on-site facilitation, and follow-up documentation. Reimbursement for travel and supplies is expected, too. 

Municipalities:                             Counties:

Population            SOG Rate         Category        

Under 2,500          $1,725             Tier 1             

2,501-10,000         $1,800             Tier 2             

10,001-25,000       $1,875              Tier 3 

Over 25,000          $1,950

Out of State           variable                                                               

Each retreat request is treated as unique and varies depending on what the work requires (e.g., individual pre-retreat interviews or number of days on-site) so providing a standard rate for retreats is not possible. One additional day of work is commonly required for planning the agenda, then preparing the follow-up notes. A one day retreat is likely to result in charges for two days of facilitator effort.  We keep our rates for North Carolina local governments as low as possible, in recognition of the dues that they pay annually to the School of Government.  Rates for out of state work may be higher.

All of this is required to be documented in a letter of agreement, ideally in place at least three weeks in advance of the retreat.

For more information or to request a facilitator for your retreat, please contact Lydian Altman at or 919-962-0103.


Public Officials - Local and State Government Roles