By: Melissa Lagowski
Big Buzz Idea Group
We have always known that, out of necessity, nonprofit organizations are incredibly nimble and resilient. Over the last 12 months, organizations have made quick pivots and showed great commitment and creativity to the missions they serve.
Now that it has been a full year of life with COVID-19, we asked our clients if they had any unexpected positive results from the pandemic. Here is what they had to say:
Rogers Park Business Alliance
“We added video interviews to our Small Business Saturday event in 2020. The pivot to video for Small Business Saturday was a positive change that we will continue moving forward.
The virtual Chalk Howard Fest was also a positive outcome. We were able to utilize social media so that we could reach folks that we may not have been able to connect with through an actual live event.
For both events, it was nice to have something that could go out to a wider audience. In the past, we promoted the events more locally. With the videos, I think (hope) that more people saw the great businesses that we have in Rogers Park.”
Sandi Price, Executive Director
Lambda Alpha International (LAI) – Ely Chapter
“One beneficial impact stemming from the pandemic is that it moved Lambda Alpha International (LAI) from physical convocations into the realm of virtual programming and events. As a result, our members are able to participate regardless of where they are, and it has led to the first-ever joint programming between LAI chapters around the globe on land economics issues of mutual interest.
Although we will resume face-to-face convocations as soon as possible, I’m confident that we will operate in hybrid format to allow virtual participation in programming and events going forward. Ironically, the pandemic separated us physically but brought us closer together at the same time. As President of the Ely Chapter of LAI, I would like to thank Big Buzz Idea Group for enabling our organization to address the organizational and technological challenges of this shift in real time.”
Richard Wilson, President
Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce
“One of the greatest silver linings has been how we’ve all been able to adapt in the face of incredible challenges. For our organization, it has actually created greater personal connections with our members and community. We’ve had to rethink how we connect, and we’ve been able to have more direct contact with members. It’s also been inspiring to see how our members have changed and shifted to create new business models and serve their customers in ways we never thought possible.”
Robin Hammond, Vice President, Director of Marketing and Communications
National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) – Chicago Chapter
“It was impressive how quickly our team was able to take our programming online last year! In doing so, we have been able to not only keep and serve our existing members, but we have been able to expand our reach because the virtual programs made it easier for more female entrepreneurs to participate.
We also took our signature event virtual. The 10-session conference was one of the most successful fundraising events that NAWBO Chicago has had in years. With the valuable support of our sponsors and partners, and the reduction of expenses for the online event, the organization was able to secure the financing it needed to weather the pandemic.
The virtual access to the event also expanded its reach. We fully anticipate maintaining some aspect of virtual programming going forward as it helps us remove barriers to access for more women business owners to participate in our events.”
Elizabeth Colon, President