Staying connected during quarantine is focus of Nonprofit Network

During an open-line call last week with several nonprofit organizations, Regina Pinney heard that Consumers Energy had decided to suspend all electric-service shut-offs.

The executive director of the Jackson-based Nonprofit Network also learned that the city of Jackson was suspending water service shut-offs for its residential and business customers, as is the case in the City of Kalamazoo.

Each business is anticipating tough financial times as efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus result in a wave of business slowdowns or closings.

Sharing information on the open call – to hear what others are doing, and to discuss ideas in the face of the burgeoning health crisis – was invaluable, says Pinney, whose Nonprofit Network works to support nonprofit organizations. So it is making open lines available for free to leaders of nonprofits in the Greater Kalamazoo area.

Leaders of nonprofit organizations try to help people in crisis every day. As authorities aggressively try to isolate individuals who have the virus before it spreads, leaders are becoming more isolated from their workers and helpful partners in the community, Pinney says. She says it would be great to help grow opportunities for more idea-sharing in Greater Kalamazoo.

“Starting Tuesday, March 17, we are offering two opportunities per day to jump on a call to listen, share and discuss whatever seems to be your most pressing concerns and issues,” Pinney says in an invitation to nonprofits in Kalamazoo and elsewhere. “You can also join if you just want to feel and stay connected.”

Nonprofit Network is a 21-year-old Jackson-based organization that strives to improve the performance of nonprofit organizations by working with nonprofit leaders “to create high-quality strategic solutions that advance their missions in our communities.”

 “Our whole mission is to support nonprofits and their leadership,” Pinney says.

That support includes about 100 workshops annually on such things as fund-raising, grant writing, and how to develop a better board of directors.

The series of open calls being offered here are being called “Staying Connected During Quarantine.” Pinney says, “This is a manifestation of what we do all the time.”

As the response to the coronavirus evolves, she says leaders will have to continue on. “We’ve got to find a way to regain normalcy in any way that new normal looks,” she says.

Those interested are invited to register here.

In the same vein, the Kalamazoo County Response Consortiuum is convening weekly calls that allow those in the nonprofit sector “to collaborate, problem-solve, and collectively identify needs as they emerge.” The calls are being coordinated by Adam Castle, Community Program manager at Gryphon Place. They are scheduled for 10 a.m. each Monday.
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Al Jones is a freelance writer who has worked for many years as a reporter, editor, and columnist. He is the Project Editor for On the Ground Kalamazoo.