By Julie Clark

Five takeaways from a panel of fantastic female nonprofit leaders.

I had the opportunity recently to tune into a virtual panel with fantastic female leaders from our local nonprofit community as they discussed how nonprofits are faring and positioning themselves for survival post- COVID-19.  I walked away from my computer monitor feeling inspired, hopeful, and even more passionate about our nonprofits.  Here are a few of my takeaways:

  • Nonprofits are moving quickly. We’re all tired of hearing the word PIVOT during this time, but that’s exactly how nonprofits are responding.  We’ve all had ideas or the start of plans that never got pushed to the forefront, but now COVID-19 is forcing that.  Ideas we’d been considering are now necessities – remote delivery of services, increased communications, and more!  One panelist described it as being “pushed off the edge.”  And it’s working!
  • Connection is critical. Many of us take for granted our access to technology and information, while a significant digital divide and information poverty exists in our community.  Students need access to do schooling from home, seniors need libraries for connection, adults need job search help and access to technology for services like telehealth.  We all need a connection to a world beyond our homes, but for some in our community, the need is even more urgent as it ties to food, housing, safety, and other services.  The current crisis has exacerbated this divide, but hopefully we will band together to ensure it’s addressed.
  • Innovation is happening all around us. Nonprofits are getting creative in how they deliver services, how they connect with their audiences, and how they fundraise.  Nonprofit staff members are stepping up and bringing their very best to help their organizations survive and thrive.
  • We are in this together. Northeast Ohio has always been a generous community and has stepped up to take care of those in need.  We are going to need that collective community spirit more than ever as we face challenges unlike anything we’ve ever seen.
  • Complete the census! This once-a-decade count impacts political representation and how decisions are made about federal funding, which impacts state funding, which impacts our local community.  Visit today if you’ve not already completed the census.