Staff members from Meals on Wheels Rowan recently attended the 2019 National Meals on Wheels Conference in Dallas, Texas. Staff and board members from Meals on Wheels agencies and both home-delivered and congregate meal programs from across the country attended. Sandy Combs, program director, and Cindy Fink, executive director attended from Meals on Wheels Rowan.
Earlier this year, Fink was selected to present with two colleagues during the training sessions entitled, “Event Trends, The Pressure to Innovate.”
Rebecca Linder, CEO of Linder Global Events, introduced the drivers of innovation that include business growth, survival, personalization, convenience and adapting to change. She shared that pressure on staff and resources spawn creativity. Shrinking budgets, event fatigue, and competition are causing non-profits to review their fundraising efforts. Donor diversity, stakeholder engagement, and technology are inspiring changes in fundraising events.
Fink along with Meals on Wheels colleagues Jennifer Covert from North Area Meals on Wheels and Arthur Crawford from Silver Sage Community Center offered case studies for the attendees.
Fink presented an overview of the Valentine’s Day Non-Event fundraiser that was initiated in 2018 by Johanna Lovvorn, who was a Meals on Wheels Rowan board member. She highlighted that with any fundraising event, it is important to know the capacity of both your staff and volunteers.
“As a small agency with only two full-time and seven part-time staff, we knew that we needed to consider the number of work hours to pull off a fundraiser. And, we knew the competition in the Salisbury-Rowan Community from over 30 worthy non-profit organizations made it important to do something very different,” Fink said during the training.
The training session participants also had the opportunity to ask the panel of Meals on Wheels executive directors about the details of their case studies as well as additional considerations including cost, guest lists and community profiles.
Combs and Fink also had the opportunity to participate in courses titled; A Roadmap for Succession Planning, The Secret to Successful Healthcare Partnerships, The 3 Rs of Volunteer Engagement: Recruitment, Recognition, and Retention, Advances in Addressing Malnutrition and more.
Keynote speakers included Ellie Hollander, president, and CEO of Meals on Wheel America; Bechara Choucair, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Community Health Officer Kaiser Permanente.
During the Meals on Wheels Expo, Combs and Fink visited with over 60 vendors who offer services to support home delivered meals, congregate meals and non-profit organizations