One Year Ago: A Look Back and a Call to Action
One year ago, TNP held its first virtual affinity group and program. The week before, we sat around our office table discussing which virtual meeting platform to use and planning our first webinar of the pandemic- “Managing Your Staff Remotely” with Anne Laguzza of the Works Consulting. We all took our usual trip to Whole Foods 365 to pick up lunch at the buffet (remember those?). Realizing that shelves were clearing out, we did a quick run around the store purchasing a few things to feel a little bit better prepared. The weeks leading up to this, we changed the way we interacted in person, served boxed lunches in a handshake free environment, and hoped for the best.
That following Monday, we had over 200 nonprofits attend TNP’s first webinar and continued to see leaders navigate changes, learn new ways to connect with those we serve, and collaborate with our colleagues and the community. While “safer at home” started by the end of the week, we also received notice that our office on the Long Beach City College Campus would be closed until June. We settled in, put the dormant Microsoft Teams to use, and started working from home.
What followed was nonprofits shifting, pausing, experiencing uncertainty and determination. We headed into a yet-to-be-named pandemic with the goal of fulfilling our missions, staying healthy, and enduring.
Our first survey of the nonprofit sector showed revenue from fundraising was down across the board – over 80% in nonprofits. We advocated for relief resources for nonprofits to recognize their place in our economy and their role in connecting with hard to reach populations. Our local foundations were ready to help. We partnered with foundations, donors, and other nonprofit partners to provide technical support, advocacy, and community. We are proud to have worked with and provided support for over 500 nonprofit organizations and over 5,000 individuals in 2020.
Today- we continue the advocacy as Long Beach, the South Bay, Gateway Cities, the County of Los Angeles, and the rest of the state and country prepare for recovery. We also recognize that we are still in a pandemic, and resources continue to be scare to meet the growing needs.
As we look to a recovery plan, we call on leaders to center strategy and efforts around nonprofits. We applaud the City and County for including nonprofits in relief funding as well as resources for nonprofit service providers- and we urge them to find ways to create equitable processes in funding nonprofits and other small businesses, show awareness of differing business models of nonprofits, and create opportunities for greater accessibility to the programs that will follow.
And as we look back at the last year, we are so grateful for the community of leaders who have worked tirelessly and provided each other with support.